US stock market operator Nasdaq raised Monday its offer for the Oslo Stock Exchange to almost 6.8 billion kroner (695 million euros, $790 million), matching that of European rival Euronext.
The new offer valued the OSE, one of the few independent exchanges left in Europe, at 158 kroner per share, compared with 152 kroner in Nasdaq’s previous offer.
OSE directors swiftly reiterated their preference for the Nasdaq bid.
‘The board acknowledges that the amended offers are equal from a purely financial point of view, but the board reiterates and maintains its view that Nasdaq AB is the preferred owner of Oslo Bors VPS from an industrial and strategic perspective,’ a statement said.
The US operator also eased conditions attached to its offer, extending the deadline to March 29 and cutting the threshold of shareholder approval required for a deal to 66.6 percent from 90 percent previously.
‘We remain confident that our offer is the superior solution for the shareholders, members, issuers, investors and employees of Oslo Bors VPS’, Nasdaq boss for northern Europe Adena Friedman said in a statement.
Nasdaq controls all of the other stock exchanges in the Nordic and Baltic region, while Euronext operates the Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin and Lisbon markets.
Unless either Euronext or Nasdaq withdraws its bid, the future ownership of the Oslo exchange will likely be decided by Norwegian authorities, whose approval is required for any acquisition of more than 10 percent.