Fixed income network eSpeed has confirmed that it has made an EUR127.5 million offer for a 51% stake in European government bond platform MTS.
US-based eSpeed has been bidding against pan-European exchange Euronext and Borsa Italiana for a controlling interest in MTS. A combined bid from Euronext and Borsa Italiana is believed to value MTS at EUR245 million, EUR5 million shy of eSpeed's valuation.
ESpeed has also offered to acquire, at the same price per share, up to an additional 20% of the share capital of MTS. ESpeed says the acquisition will be financed from existing working capital and, if necessary, an unsecured loan facility of $60 million from parent broker Cantor Fitzgerald.
Howard Lutnick chairman and CEO of eSpeed, says: "If our offer is accepted, we intend to keep MTS's brand and existing European management team, and maintain MTS as the centerpiece of eSpeed's European operations."