Surprise $56 billion bid for London Stock Exchange

The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing has proposed a $56 billion takeover of the London Stock Exchange.

In a statement, HKEX said: "The board believes a proposed combination with LSEG represents a highly compelling strategic opportunity to create a global marker infrastructure leader."

"The board believes that the two businesses are highly complementary and as such, looks forward to working with the relevant authorities to deliver a clear path to completion."

The LSE said it will consider the proposal, but is committed to making progress on its proposed Refinitiv takeover.

The LSE announced its deal to acquire US data provider Refinitiv for $39 billion in August this year.  HKEX said the proposed transaction will only go ahead if the Refinitiv takeover does not.

The bid comes at a crucial time for both, with Britain looking to strengthen its financial sector in the face of a looming Brexit, and Hong Kong embroiled in political turmoil.

Charles Li, chief executive of HKEX, said: "Bringing HKEX and LSEG together will redefine global capital markets for decades to come.  Both businesses have great brands, financial strength and proven track records."

This is just the latest international attempt to acquire the LSE; Germany's Deutsche Boerse has made three failed attempts, after hitting political and regulatory roadblocks.

HKEX already has a presence in London as owner of the London Metal Exchange, which it acquired in 2012 for around $2.5 billion.

Read more: HKEXLSELondon Stock ExchangeRefinitivHong Kong ExchangeLSEGBrexitCharles LiDeutsche BoerseLondon Metal Exchange
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