HKEX will struggle to win backing from regulators, shareholders and politicians
Seven bids, or merger proposals, for the London Stock Exchange Group have failed in the last 20 years and here’s another that deserves to go nowhere. To succeed, the Hong Kong crew pitching a £32bn proposal would have to win backing from the LSE’s shareholders, several regulators and, for practical purposes, politicians. Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) will struggle on all fronts.
Investors’ scepticism was obvious. The LSE’s share price rose only 6%, a weak response to an offer boasting a notional 23% premium. But the reaction was fair. LSE shareholders are being offered a relatively small portion of cash (less than a quarter of the value of the offer), plus a 41% holding in an enlarged Hong Kong-based outfit.