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Hong Kong bid casts doubt on LSE's Refinitiv takeover

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange has made a £32 billion proposal to buy the London Stock Exchange, aiming to break up its agreed deal for Refinitiv, the Financial Times reported.

LSE agreed last month to buy Refinitiv for $27 billion in a deal that would position it as a competitor to Bloomberg.

Thomson Reuters, parent company of Reuters, owns 45 per cent of Refinitiv, formerly the Canadian group’s financial and risk terminals and data business. The 55 per cent majority is owned by a consortium of private equity investors. LSE had expected the deal to complete by the second half of next year.

The FT said Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing has offered £20.45 a share in cash and 2.495 newly-issued HKEX shares, valuing the London Stock Exchange Group at £83.61 a share. That is a 23 per cent premium to LSE’s closing price on Tuesday. LSE shares soared more than 15 per cent to £79 on the news.

“Bringing HKEX and LSEG together will redefine global capital markets for decades to come,” said Charles Li, chief executive of HKEX. “Both businesses have great brands, financial strength and proven growth track records. Together, we will connect East and West, be more diversified and we will be able to offer customers greater innovation, risk management and trading opportunities.” ■

Financial Times