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Temasek approaches NASDAQ for LSE stake

January 29, 2012

After NASDAQ vows to sell 31% stake in LSE, a number of seekers have emerged to cash the opportunity. In this league Singapore-based Temasek Holdings has approached NASDAQ for its $1.58bn worth stake in LSE. Temasek have made the approach in recent days. The Singapore authorities, which recently acquired a stake in Barclays alongside the Chinese government’s sovereign investment fund, are believed to cash the strategic position of the LSE in their ambition to make Singapore grow as a centre for financial services. NASDAQ buys a substantial stake in the exchange to strengthen its abortive bid for the LSE, which lapsed in February. But, after failed to buy it, America-based stock exchange is eying at OMX of Sweden. To accumulate the fund for it, NASDAQ plan to sell its influential stake and hired UBS and JPMorgan to help sell its holding. However, while making its decision public, NASDAQ also makes sure that exchange would not sell its LSE’s holding to single buyer. If it do so than LSE can again on the buyout radar, which can badly affect the investors. But NASDAQ authority didn’t make any comment on the Temasek’s proposal, which arose doubts over its previous stance. NASDAQ will have no shortage of alternative buyers for LSE, which is one of the biggest stock exchanges; however, Deutsche Borse is also in the line. On the other hand, any lucrative offer can lure it to sell its stake to single buyer. Recently, LSE’s shareholders have approved Milan-based Borsa Italiana’s £1.1bn merger proposal, and is expected to complete in October. From February to till now NASDAQ’s share value has inflated by 22% and if regulator approves the merger deal than it will water down over its expected extra income, which at least NASDAQ won’t lose it. On NASDAQ silence over the Temasek proposal, many prominent figures such as the deputy governor of the Bank of England, the German Chancellor and the IMF have expressed concerns and warned that such type of buyout can mar the growth of these large, powerful institutions.