The Spain Government has permitted a bid by Swiss exchange SIX to acquire the Madrid stock market operator BME, the Spanish Economy Ministry declared on Tuesday. Stock market regulator has to approved the acquisition before BME shareholders can make the final decision. The deal is monitored by BME’s competitors as the industry struggles with lower revenues and fees. France’s Euronext previously expressed interest in purchase of BME but had never submitted a bid.
SIX stands to gain a base inside the European Union and aid Switzerland to regain access to the EU equity markets after Brussels previously blocked EU investors from trading on Swiss exchange back in July. “We are very pleased with the decision by the Spanish government,” a SIX spokesman said. “This is a major milestone for us.”
SIX offered an all-cash buyout of USD 3.1 Billion to BME that includes a 34% premium over the market price when it first approached back in November. SIX is committed to allow “the continuity of the Spanish stock market as a financing mechanism of our companies”, the Spanish government said. Back in November, Jos Dijsselhof announced that the bid is geared towards growth opportunities in both countries.