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Nasdaq to Sell LSE Stake as Both Pursue Deals - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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LONDON (Reuters) – Nasdaq Stock Market Inc is abandoning its 31 percent stake in the London Stock Exchange five months after its takeover bid failed and as both pursue separate acquisition strategies in the consolidating sector.

UBS and JPMorgan are helping Nasdaq decide what to do with the 61.3 million LSE shares. Nasdaq said it wants to sell them, but could not guarantee that it would.

New York-based Nasdaq said it would use $1 billion of any proceeds from a sale to pay off senior term debt and the rest to buy back shares.

It said it was pursuing the sale because it believes its current stock price does not adequately reflect the value of its LSE stake.

Nasdaq estimated the stake sale would boost its stand-alone 2008 earnings per share by about 30 cents to 35 cents each.

LSE shares were up 2.4 percent to 1,300 pence each at 5:06 a.m. EDT. Nasdaq shares closed at $31.75 on Friday.

LSE officials declined to comment.

Since Nasdaq’s takeover for the LSE failed earlier this year, the LSE has agreed to acquire Milan exchange Borsa Italiana for 1.6 billion pounds ($3.16 billion), a deal set to dilute Nasdaq’s stake to about 22 percent.

Meanwhile, Nasdaq is now locked in a battle with Borse Dubai to buy Nordic exchange operator OMX.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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