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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2007, 08:03 GMT
LSE strengthens takeover defence
London Stock Exchange sign
LSE shares have trebled in value since takeover speculation began
The London Stock Exchange has sought to strengthen its defence against a hostile bid from US market Nasdaq.

In a statement, the LSE forecast a 180% rise in trades by 2008 and increased its share buyback plans by 250m.

Nasdaq, which already owns 28.75% of the LSE, last week extended the deadline for shareholders to agree support the bid to 26 January.

But the LSE reiterated that the 2.7bn ($5.2bn) offer was "wholly inadequate", and urged shareholders not to sell.

LSE chief executive Clara Furse said the revised forecast on the number of trades it would carry out made the company an "increasingly attractive strategic asset".

The LSE forecast that the number of average daily trades on its SETS electronic trading system would rise by at least 180% to about 480,000 in 2008.

Shares rocket

Last week, the Nasdaq said it had secured agreements to buy just 0.6% of shares available in its takeover target.

Two days earlier, the LSE had rushed out its latest profit figures as part of its attempt to fight off the takeover bid - which equates to 1243p a share.

Shares in LSE have more than trebled over the past two years as it has attracted - and rejected - a procession of suitors, including pan-European market Euronext and Germany's Deutsche Boerse.


SEE ALSO
Nasdaq struggles for LSE shares
11 Jan 07 |  Business
LSE fights bid with rising profit
09 Jan 07 |  Business
Nasdaq still confident of LSE win
08 Jan 07 |  Business
LSE dubs Nasdaq bid 'inadequate'
19 Dec 06 |  Business
Nasdaq unveils hostile LSE offer
12 Dec 06 |  Business
LSE rejects 2.7bn Nasdaq offer
20 Nov 06 |  Business

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