A consortium of 11 banks and interdealer broker Icap has launched an EUR830 million bid for LCH.Clearnet just weeks after the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation called off its pursuit of the London clearing house, according to the Financial Times.
The group - which already holds over 15% of the voting rights - is understood to have submitted a EUR11 per share cash offer for 73.93 million shares on Friday.
Although LCH.Clearnet has yet to comment publicly on the bid, the FT says "people familiar with management's thinking" consider it "underwhelming".
The DTCC pulled out of a EUR10 per share deal last month after failing to reach agreement over the proposed transatlantic merger, leaving the way clear for the Icap-led consortium, which includes Barclays, Citi, Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings, JPMorgan Chase, Nomura Holdings, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland, Societe Generale and UBS.
However, the clearer is reportedly still considering buying out its 123 shareholders and converting into a user-owned utility in a bid to scuttle the consortium. After the conversion, LCH.Clearnet would invite shareholders to buy back in, making use of the clearer conditional on being a shareholder.
The once-moribund European clearing business has been shaken up by the arrival of a new wave of pan-European exchange-based trading platforms and the financial crisis, which has seen regulators pushing for more OTC clearing.
This month LCH.Clearnet outlined plans to slash its fees by a third and agreed new competitive clearing offerings for European MTFs Bats Europe, Chi-X, Turquoise and Nyse Arca Europe.
Banks and Icap launch €830 bid for LCH.Clearnet - FT