Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. has acquired a 15% stake in the London Stock Exchange for 447.5 million pounds ($782 million), less than two weeks after withdrawing its takeover offer for Europe's biggest equity market.
Nasdaq, the largest U.S. electronic stock market, purchased 38.1 million shares for 11.75 pounds each, including a stake held by Threadneedle Asset Management, the LSE's biggest shareholder, New York-based Nasdaq said Tuesday.
The acquisition may force LSE Chief Executive Clara Furse to negotiate with Nasdaq CEO Robert Greifeld, who wants to create the first transatlantic stock market. The price Nasdaq paid was 24% more than its takeover bid, which the LSE rejected.
"The purchase is certainly no bargain," said Benn Steil, director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations and an expert on exchanges. "That would suggest, to the extent they have ambitions for a significant merger, they are concentrating on" London.