NASDAQ gives up on London

Ashley Milne-Tyte Aug 20, 2007


Scott Jagow: Today, NASDAQ put its entire stake in the London Stock Exchange up for sale. NASDAQ says the market is undervaluing its piece of the LSE, but as Ashley Milne-Tyte reports, there’s a bit more to it than that.

Ashley Milne-Tyte: NASDAQ tried to take over the London Stock Exchange last year, but its offer was spurned. Regulations prevent it from making a new one until early 2008.

Georgetown University finance professor James Angel says meanwhile, the U.S. dollar has been sinking.

James Angel: They’ve been watching the price they would have to pay to take over the LSE to go up, up, up, while they have to wait, so it’s a lot more expensive now for the NASDAQ to take over the LSE.

NASDAQ recently made an offer for Stockholm-based exchange operator OMX. Last week, Borse Dubai launched a competing bid. Sang Lee of the Aite Group says that’s got NASDAQ examining its finances.

Sang Lee: They perhaps came to a conclusion that money’s probably better spent on trying to consummate a deal that can be done as opposed to focusing on a deal that could have been done, but was never consummated.

NASDAQ’s stake in the LSE is worth more than $1.5 billion.

In New York, I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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