”A number of parties have expressed interest” to challenge Euronext’s bid to take over Oslo Børs VPS, wrote the board of Norway’s exchange in a statement on Friday 11 January. It says it will have made a recommendation to its shareholders by the end of February, at the latest.
Euronext’s bid valid until 11 February
This rhymes poorly with the accept deadline set out by Euronext in its public bid which, according to Swedish media Dagens Industri and Direkt, has now been formally presented: 11 February.
Oslo Børs VPS includes Norway’s five marketplaces, as well as its settlement house and a systems provider. The bid by Euronext to buy all outstanding shares of Oslo Børs VPS at a share price of 145 NOK was first presented on Christmas Eve, as we have described.
According to Dagens Industri, Euronext points out that it is already in control of the majority, 50,5 percent, of the stock in Oslo Børs VPS. This implies that it does not have reason to raise its bid.
”Will take time”
The Oslo Børs VPS board is now in the process of meetings with some of the bidders. The way it describes the challenge seems incompatible with Euronext’s 11 February deadline. It points out that ”the work currently being undertaken will be extensive and will take time”, and that it ”strongly recommends that shareholders await its final recommendation before taking a position on the tender offer”. However, it promises to have provided shareholders with its evaluation and recommendation by the end of February.
Weighs in outlook for development
The board says it seeks ”the optimal solution in terms of shareholder value, in addition to a high-quality plan for the further development of Norway’s stock exchange and central securities depository, including in relation to matters such as the ability of companies that make use of the Oslo Børs marketplaces to access capital”