Singapore Exchange, Baltic Exchange extend exclusive M&A talks

The SGX Centre at 4 Shenton Way.
The SGX Centre at 4 Shenton Way.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the Baltic Exchange have agreed to extend the period of exclusive discussion regarding SGX's proposed acquisition of the London-based firm.

The exclusive talks , which mean that the two parties are engaging only each other to discuss a transaction, were previously intended to end on June 30.

The date has now been extended to 31 August.

The Baltic Exchange has been described as a vital cog in the global shipping industry. It compiles extensive market data such as daily indices tracking the dry bulk and tanker shipping sectors. The data is used by its member firms as benchmarks for settling shipping contracts and derivatives.

SGX said in a news release yesterday that together with the Baltic Exchange, they have met with shareholders and stakeholders to discuss the transaction and have made good progress in consultation.

It added that the extension to the period of exclusivity would allow the dialogue to continue before the final terms of the transaction are agreed.

SGX reiterated that there is no guarantee that the talks will result in a deal.

It has said in the past tha tacquiring the Baltic Exchange would be a boost for the bourse, given Singapore's strength as a shipping centre.

No information was provided on the price of the potential acquisition, but it was previously reported that market talk has valued it at around US$100 million (S$138 million).

The deal, if completed, would be the SGX's first high-profile acquisition in recent years.

The bourse has not found much success in expanding via asset acquisition. In 2011, its US$8.8 billion offer to buy out the Australian Securities Exchange for a merger was rejected by regulators Down Under.

But other attempts to broaden its regional reach have yielded results, with the SGX inking a partnership with the Taiwan Stock Exchange in January.

xinen@sph.com.sg