Hong Kong Exchange makes surprise US$39 billion bid for London Stock Exchange

Hong Kong Exchanges already has a base in London as owner of the London Metal Exchange.
Hong Kong Exchanges already has a base in London as owner of the London Metal Exchange.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited has proposed a US$39 billion (S$53 billion) takeover of the London Stock Exchange, it said on Wednesday (Sept 11), just weeks after the London bourse announced a plan to merge with data company Refinitiv.

“The board of HKEX believes a proposed combination with LSEG represents a highly compelling strategic opportunity to create a global market infrastructure leader,” the Hong Kong exchange said in a statement.

The proposed transaction would only go ahead if the LSE’s proposed takeover of Refinitiv does not proceed, it said. Hong Kong Exchanges already has a base in London as owner of the London Metal Exchange.

The LSE has long sought to bolster its footprint in Asia and recently launched a link with Shanghai. The LSE had no immediate comment.

Refinitiv had no comment, and Refinitiv majority shareholder Blackstone had no immediate comment.

“The board of HKEX believes that the two businesses are highly complementary and as such, looks forward to working with the relevant authorities to deliver a clear path to completion,” the HKEX said.