If, as seems increasingly likely, the London Stock Exchange succeeds in seeing off Nasdaq’s attempted hostile takeover, it will at the same time deal a serious blow to the ambitions and reputation of Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld.
His aggressive, single-minded pursuit of the London Stock Exchange has already earned Greifeld the less-than-flattering tag of Bob the Bully in City boardrooms.
As the clock ticks down on Nasdaq’s takeover bid, Greifeld’s veiled threats and dire warnings on the consequences for refusenik shareholders have taken on a desperate tone. This culminated last week in a disastrous whistlestop tour of high-profile media
outlets, in which Greifeld loudly pontificated over the ‘true value’ of LSE shares and threatened to put Nasdaq's technology at the disposal of competitive operators. While doing his utmost to undermine the business, Greifeld bizarrely maintained that Nasdaq
was prepared to hold on to its 29% stake in the LSE for the next 18-months
On this latter point, the Nasdaq press office was forced to issue a carefully-worded clarification of its intentions the following day, for fear of falling foul of City takeover rules.
Should LSE shareholders resist Nasdaq’s blandishments the tables will be turned and it will be the US exchange’s strategy and management which will be put under the microscope. Greifeld’s credibility, already fragile, will be on the line.