SIX seals BME deal to join European stock exchange big league

Madrid's Stock Exchange Keystone

Swiss company SIX has become Europe’s third-largest stock exchange operator by revenues after completing a €2.57 billion (CHF2.75 billion) takeover of Spanish rival BME, forming a base for European Union expansion.

This content was published on June 12, 2020 - 11:09

The takeover deal – which values the company at €2.8 billion – marks the end of the independence of the Spanish bourse that was founded in 1831.

The acquisition of one of Europe’s last stand-alone stock exchanges comes at a time when the industry is struggling with lower fees and declining revenues, though market volatility in March due to the Covid-19 outbreak temporarily increased trading income.

SIX’s chief executive officer Jos Dijsselhof said on Thursday that for now the Swiss company was not planning to delist BME as the acceptance level for the bid had not surpassed a 95% threshold. He also said the listing of SIX was not “an active plan at the moment”.

SIX’s all-cash takeover bid was accepted by owners of 77,899,990 BME shares, representing a 93.16% of the Spanish company’s capital, Spain’s CNMV market regulator said.

No massive layoffs

Dijsselhof said SIX remained committed to maintaining BME headquarters and operations for at least ten years and also said that the company was not planning to engage in massive layoffs in Switzerland or in Spain.

He said that BME would give SIX an opportunity to look at further expanding its business to more customers in the EU. Since July 2019, Swiss trading platforms have been frozen out of the EU market amid an ongoing dispute between Switzerland and Brussels about the future direction of bilateral ties between the two.

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