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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 December 2006, 08:09 GMT
LSE dubs Nasdaq bid 'inadequate'
The Nasdaq is one of many suitors to target the LSE in recent years
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has reiterated its opposition to the hostile takeover bid from the Nasdaq, describing it as "wholly inadequate".

The LSE made the comment as it set out its reasons to shareholders for rejecting the 2.7bn ($5.3bn) bid.

It said that last week's offer from Nasdaq had failed to reflect its "unique strategic position".

The exchange also said that it was set to pay out a final dividend of at least 12 pence a share, up 50% on last year.

The final date for shareholder acceptance of the Nasdaq offer by LSE shareholders is 11 January 2007.

Rejection urged

In its statement, the LSE said the takeover offer failed to reflect the quality of its business and its ability to "compete successfully in a fertile environment for highly efficient listing and trading platforms".

It added that the offer was the lowest price that Nasdaq could make under current takeover rules.

Nasdaq is offering a wholly inadequate price for the company and shareholders should reject the offer
Chris Gibson-Smith, London Stock Exchange chairman

"'Over the last 12 months, records have tumbled in terms of money raised as well as the volume and value of trading on our markets," chairman Chris Gibson-Smith said.

"This is further confirmation of the significant progress we are making towards the realisation of our vision to be 'the world's capital market'.

"For the second time this year, Nasdaq is offering a wholly inadequate price for the company and shareholders should reject the offer," he added.

The LSE also told investors that it expected earnings for the current financial year to rise by 58% to 50.4 pence a share, while it expected to hand out a final dividend of no less than 12p a share - up 50% on a year ago.

The LSE has been fighting off a growing list if suitors in recent times.

In December 2004, the LSE rejected a takeover proposal from Deutsche Boerse which valued the London exchange at 1.35bn.

The LSE has subsequently received takeover interest from Euronext, the New York Stock Exchange and Australian bank Macquarie, in addition to Nasdaq.

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