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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
Shares of London based electronic trading firm and exchange operator NEX Group PLC (LON: NXG) were sent soaring by more than 30% on Friday, after the company confirmed last night that it was indeed the subject of an acquisition approach by US rival CME Group Inc (NASDAQ:CME).
CME’s own shares didn’t react much, trading up 0.6% in Friday morning US trading.
Today it was the CME’s turn, and it also issued a brief note (see full text below) stating that it had made a “preliminary approach” regarding a potential acquisition of NEX.
CME said that it and NEX were working together to allow CME to complete due diligence and determine whether a firm offer can be made. But, until such time, there can be no certainty that any firm offer will ultimately be made for NEX.
The CME said that it takes a disciplined approach to acquisitions with clearly defined strategic and financial objectives and an offer, if any, would have to meet these objectives.
At its now-higher share price, NEX has a stock market valuation of £3.36 billion, or USD $4.7 billion.
The full text of the CME release on Friday reads as follows:
March 16, 2018
CME Group Inc.
Announcement regarding possible offer for NEX Group plc
CME Group Inc. (“CME”) notes the announcement made by NEX Group plc (“NEX”) yesterday and confirms that it has made a preliminary approach regarding a potential acquisition of NEX.
CME and NEX currently are working together to allow CME to complete due diligence and determine whether a firm offer can be made. As a result, there can be no certainty that any firm offer will ultimately be made for NEX, nor in relation to the terms on which such offer may be made.
[CME takes a disciplined approach to acquisitions with clearly defined strategic and financial objectives and an offer, if any, would have to meet these objectives.]
In accordance with Rule 2.6(a) of the Code, CME is required, by not later than 5.00 p.m. on April 12, 2018, being the 28th day following the date of NEX’s announcement to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for NEX in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code or announce that it does not intend to make an offer, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Rule 2.8 of the Code applies. This deadline may be extended with the consent of the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers (the “Panel”) in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Code.
A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate.