Nasdaq raises funds for LSE bid

Nasdaq raises funds for LSE bid

US market operator Nasdaq has secured around $5.1 billion in debt financing and $775 million of equity financing to help secure its potential purchase of the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Nasdaq launched a bid last week to buy the 71% stake of the LSE it doesn't own for £12.43 per share - a deal that values the UK stock exchange at £2.7 billion. The LSE board rejected Nasdaq's bid on the same day and rejected Nasdaq's request for a meeting.

Despite this the US market operator is pushing ahead with its takeover plans and, in a regulatory filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has outlined a $5.1 billion debt arrangement it has secured with Bank of America and Dresdner Kleinwort to finance the deal.

The package includes a $75 million six year credit facility, a seven year $750 million term loan secured by hard assets, a seven year $2.5 billion delayed-draw term loan and a $1.75 billion unsecured bridge loan.

Nasdaq also says it will sell up to 775,000 shares of perpetual preferred stock, at $1,000 per share, to a Bank of America unit and Dresdner Bank's Dresdner Kleinwort Securities subsidiary.

Nasdaq's new cash offer for the LSE follows its original indicative bid of 950 pence, or £2.4bn, that was rejected by the London exchange in March.

News of the Nasdaq funding comes as rival New York Stock Exchange says it shareholders will vote on a proposed takeover of pan-European exchange Euronext on 20th December. Euronext shareholders will vote on the proposed combination on 19th December.

Meanwhile talks about a possible merger between Euronext and Borsa Italiana have reportedly fallen through because the two sides could not agree on how board seats would be divided between the two. Eurnoext and Borsa italiana are thught to have re-started merger talks last week just after Deutsche Börse finally dropped its bid for Paris-based Euronext.

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