Hong Kong scraps $39bn London Stock Exchange bid

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) has abandoned its unsolicited $39 billion approach for London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) after failing to convince LSE shareholders and management to support the move.

Shares of LSEG fell 5%.

The cash-and-shares approach from HKEX had threatened to trump LSEG’s $27 billion plan to buy data and analytics firm Refinitiv.

HKEX had said LSE would have to scrap the Refinitiv deal for its offer to go ahead.

“The board of HKEX continues to believe that a combination of LSEG and HKEX is strategically compelling and would create a world-leading market infrastructure group,” said HKEX in a statement.

“Despite engagement with a broad set of regulators and extensive shareholder engagement, the board of HKEX is disappointed that it has been unable to engage with the management of LSEG in realising this vision, and as a consequence has decided it is not in the best interests of HKEX shareholders to pursue this proposal.”

LSEG said: “LSEG remains committed to and continues to make good progress on its proposed acquisition of Refinitiv.

“Regulatory approval processes are underway and shareholder approval for the transaction is expected to be sought at an Extraordinary General Meeting in November 2019.

“The transaction remains on track to close in H2 2020.

“Unless otherwise defined herein, capitalised terms and abbreviations used in this announcement shall have the same respective meanings as those defined in the LSEG announcement as on 13 September 2019.”