Instinet's proposed merger with Nasdaq could be delayed after New York private investment firm Third Avenue Management made a higher separate bid for its institutional brokerage unit.
Third Avenue Management, which is an Instinet shareholder, is offering $307m for business. The offer, made in a letter to Nasdaq and Instinet, expires today.
Nasdaq agreed to buy Instinet - which is majority owned by Reuters - for $1.9bn in April. Under the proposed merger agreement, Nasdaq said it was going to sell the brokerage unit off to private equity group Silver Lake Partners for $207.5m, while retaining the Inet ECN.
Although the counterdeal won't derail the merger, the takeover could be delayed if Instinet shareholders accept Third Avenue's offer.
In a statement, Instinet says its board is reviewing the offer letter.