The board of MTS has accepted a combined bid from Euronext and Borsa Italiana for a 51% controlling stake in the European fixed network. The offer is equivalent to €657.10 per share and values MTS at €245 million, €5 million shy of a competing €250 million bid from electronic network eSpeed.
Cantor Fitzgerald, the interdealer broker which owns eSpeed, has bid for MTS in the past, but has repeatedly failed to overcome opposition from the Italian financial community, which owns a combined 46% of MTS.
Niels Thygesen, chairman of the supervisory board of MTS says of the decision: "The Euronext consortium’s strength in European equity markets and derivatives and MTS’s major presence in European fixed-income securities fully complement one another and place us in a strong position to achieve our objectives."
MTS was incorporated in September 1997 with an issued share capital value of €6.2 million, equivalent to €51.65 per share. During subsequent years shareholders injected further capital of €12.9 million into MTS and its subsidiary EuroMTS, taking the total cash investment made by current shareholders to €19.1 million.