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London based electronic trading firm and exchange operator NEX Group PLC (LON: NXG) issued a press release late Thursday entitled Statement re press speculation, confirming that it has received a preliminary approach by US rival CME Group Inc (NASDAQ:CME) regarding a potential acquisition of NEX by CME.
NEX issued the statement after a number of US financial media reports speculated that the two were in takeover talks, sending NEX Group shares up 2% in late Thursday trading.
However NEX Group noted that the discussions were still at an early stage, and that there can be no certainty that an offer for NEX will be made.
At its current share price of £6.70, NEX Group has a market cap of £2.55 billion (USD $3.5 billion).
The full text of the statement issued by NEX Group reads as follows:
15th March 2018
Statement re press speculation
The Board of NEX Group plc (“NEX”) notes the press speculation and announces that it has received a preliminary approach by CME Group Inc. (“CME”) regarding a potential acquisition of NEX.
Discussions are at an early stage and there can be no certainty that an offer for NEX will be made, nor as to the terms of any offer, if made.
A further announcement will be made if appropriate.
This announcement has been made with the consent of CME.
In accordance with Rule 2.6(a) of the Code, CME must, by not later than 5.00 pm on 12th April 2018, 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 for NEX, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Rule 2.8 of the Code applies. This deadline can be extended with the consent of the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Code.
In accordance with Rule 26.1 of the Code, a copy of this announcement will be available on NEX’s website (https://www.nex.com/investors/regulatory-news) by no later than 12 noon (London time) on the business day following the date of this announcement. The content of the website referred to in this announcement is not incorporated into, and does not form part of, this announcement.
In accordance with Rule 2.9 of the Code, NEX announces, that as at the close of business on 14th March 2018 its issued share capital consisted of 379,735,432 ordinary shares of 17.5 pence each excluding shares held in treasury. The International Securities Identification Number for NEX’s ordinary shares is GB00BZ02MH16.