Euronext wins clearance from Norway to buy Oslo Børs

Euronext beat Nasdaq to buy one of Europe’s last independent stock market operators

The stock exchange building in Oslo, Norway. Photograph: iStock

The stock exchange building in Oslo, Norway. Photograph: iStock

 

European stock market operator Euronext said it had won clearance from Norway’s ministry of finance to buy up to 100 per cent of Oslo Børs, pushing Euronext closer to victory over Nasdaq in its bid to buy the exchange.

“Euronext welcomes the ministry’s clearance to acquire up to 100 per of Oslo Børs VPS’s capital and looks forward to completing the next steps to close the transaction by the end of June,” said chief executive Stephane Boujnah.

Euronext and Nasdaq have been engaged in a bid battle since December to buy control of Norway’s stock exchange, which is one of the last independent stock market operators in Europe.

Both had offered 158 Norwegian crowns per share for Oslo Børs, valuing it at about 6.8 billion Norwegian crowns (€694 million), but the view of the Norwegian government was crucial.

“Euronext looks forward to supporting the Norwegian financial and business community, to working constructively with all key constituents and stakeholders to further drive the success of Oslo Børs VPS,” Mr Boujnah said.

Nasdaq expressed its disappointment at the decision by the government, and said it would assess its options over what to do next regarding Oslo Børs.

“While the ministry of finance has confirmed that Nasdaq is a suitable owner of Oslo Børs VPS in accordance with the applicable Norwegian statutory requirements, the decision not to require a two-thirds majority of the shares to be obtained by any person seeking to acquire control of Oslo Børs VPS is disappointing,” said Lauri Rosendahl, president of Nasdaq Nordic. – Reuters