Despite speculation that it would oppose the deal, US stock exchange NASDAQ has announced it will support the London Stock Exchange (LSE)’s proposed acquisition of Italian stock exchange Borsa Italiana.
NASDAQ is LSE’s largest shareholder. It amassed a 30% stake in LSE during its recent failed attempt to take over the exchange. There was speculation that NASDAQ may try to block the Borsa Italiana acquisition to clear the way for a further takeover attempt.
In a statement issued on August 1, NASDAQ said that following a board meeting, it had decided to vote in favour of the Borsa Italiana merger at the LSE’s extraordinary general meeting on August 8.
“After evaluating the transaction, and meeting with the senior management of both the LSE and Borsa Italiana, The board and management of NASDAQ concluded that it is an appropriate transaction for the LSE,” the statement says.
NASDAQ’s decision closely follows the announcement by two other shareholders – Kinetics Asset Management and Horizon Asset Management – that they would back the deal.
LSE announced its intention to buy Borsa Italiana on 23 June. Under the deal, Borsa Italiana shareholders will be offered 4.9 LSE shares for each Borsa Italiana share. The offer values the Italian stock exchange at £1.1 billion ($2.2 billion).