Madrid approves Swiss exchange’s bid for Spanish BME bourse
The Spanish government on Tuesday authorised Swiss stock exchange operator SIX’s 2.84 billion euro takeover for its Spanish rival Bolsas y Mercados Espanoles (BME), which would create Europe’s third biggest operator.
Spain’s cabinet approved SIX’s purchase of all of BME since the operation “meets the criteria required by the law, mainly regarding the financial solvability of the buyer and its aptitude, reputation and experience,” the government said in a statement.
The proposed acquisition still must be approved by Spanish stock market regulator CNMV.
Once the CNMV gives its green light, “BME shareholders will have a final chance to decide whether to sell their shares at the proposed price,” the statement added.
In November Zurich-based SIX proposed an all-cash tender offer of 34 euros per share for BME, for a total of 2.84 billion euros ($3.0 billion). The offer was a 34 percent premium over the market price of the shares at the time.
BME’s offer came just after Euronext, which groups the exchanges in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Dublin and Oslo, signalled its own interest in BME. But it has yet to make a formal offer.
Euronext is the largest platform in Europe, followed by the London Stock Exchange, Deutsche Bourse and SIX.
A SIX-BME tie-up would allow the new group to leapfrog the German exchange in Europe’s financial markets rankings.
The Swiss group hopes to complete the acquisition of BME during the first half of 2020.