Deadline looms on OM Gruppen bid

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The Independent Online

Sweden's OM Group will shortly find out whether it has succeeded in its takeover bid for the London Stock Exchange.

Sweden's OM Group will shortly find out whether it has succeeded in its takeover bid for the London Stock Exchange.

Chief executive Per Larsson will announce at about 4pm how much of the LSE's share capital has backed his company's £937 million hostile cash and shares bid.

Last month OM said it secured the backing of 2.73 per cent of the shareholder capital - far short of the minimum 50.1 per cent backing it needs to be successful.

Today is the last day the bid can proceed, with LSE shareholders having until 1pm to submit acceptances, and the final cut-off for an announcement of acceptances is 5pm.

Last month OM, which runs the Stockholm stock exchange, increased the value of its bid, saying it would offer LSE shareholders £35.83 in cash and OM shares for each LSE share, at the time valuing the LSE at £1.06 billion.

But as OM shares have gone down in value recently, the bid is now worth £937 million.

The LSE has consistently rejected the OM offer as inadequate and failing to offer shareholders value.

The battle has at times been bitter, with both sides trading insults about the quality of their technology, management and strategy.

If the OM bid fails today, it could leave the door open for a potential deal with the US Nasdaq, Euronext - the merged Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam exchange - or Germany's Deutsche Borse, although the LSE has repeatedly said it is not for sale.

The LSE pulled out of plans to merge with Deutsche Borse, which would have created an exchange called iX, to defend itself against the OM bid.

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