LSE rebuffs Macquarie approach

The London Stock Exchange today rejected a "derisory" takeover proposal from Macquarie Bank of Australia.

Macquarie offered LSE stockholders 580 pence per share, but the LSE board described this as a "derisory proposal, which fundamentally undervalues the company and lacks any strategic or commercial credibility".

The UK Takeover Panel had given Macquarie until December 15 to make an offer for the exchange, or be excluded from bidding until June 2006.

The Macquarie bid was significantly higher than the bid earlier this year from Deutsche Borse, which offered 530p per share. This bid was also rejected by the LSE and led to the downfall of Deutsche Borse chief executive Werner Seifert, who resigned after opposition to the bid from dissident shareholders led by the TCI investment fund.

Macquarie said last month that speculation around the LSE's future had increased the volatility of LSE shares and "made any assessment of the fundamental value of the LSE increasingly challenging".

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