Swiss stock exchange says to bid 2.8b euros for Spanish BME bourse

by AFP/ pic by AFP

ZURICH – Swiss stock exchange operator SIX said Monday it planned to bid for Bolsas y Mercados Espanoles (BME) to create Europe’s third biggest operator, just as pan-European exchange Euronext signalled its own interest in the Spanish exchange.

The Swiss group said in a statement that it was proposing an all-cash tender offer of 34 euros per share for BME stock market, which was 33.9 percent over its closing price on Friday, for a total of 2.84 billion euros ($3.14 billion).

BME notably runs the Madrid stock exchange where it compiles the benchmark IBEX-35 index.

It also has a strong presence in Latin American stock trading.

SIX said it expects to keep BME’s stand-alone listing in the Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia Stock Exchanges.

“A combination with BME will bring direct and immediate benefits to the stakeholders of both our institutions, at a time when consolidation in global financial markets infrastructure is accelerating,” Romeo Lacher, Chairman of the SIX Board, said in the statement.

SIX chief executive Jos Dijsselhof meanwhile stressed that “this proposed transaction will give us the capability to invest in both groups and create a very strong platform to compete and innovate in the global financial market infrastructure sector.”

The announcement came as European financial markets operator Euronext also said Monday it was in talks with BME with the aim of taking over the Spanish operator.

Euronext stressed though that the talks “may or may not lead to an offer being made” and a further announcement would be made “as and when appropriate”.

Euronext groups the exchanges in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Dublin and Oslo.

It is currently the biggest platform in Europe, followed by the London Stock Exchange, Deutsche Boerse and SIX.