LSE shares rise sharply on bid speculation

SHARES in the London Stock Exchange shot up yesterday on speculation that it might be vulnerable to a bid.

The LSE was put into play after it failed to tie-up a transatlantic merger with Toronto bourse operator TMX Group, leaving speculators to suggest it could become an acquisition target.

The exchange group pulled the plug on its agreed deal earlier this week after it emerged it was likely to lose out to a hostile bid from a group of Canadian banks and pension funds.

Key to any sale of the LSE would be its Middle East-based majority shareholders Borse Dubai and the Qatar Investment Authority.

Both groups, which together hold more than 36 per cent of the LSE, bought in at significantly higher prices to the bourse operator’s current share price. Dubai bought in at £17.00 and the Qatar at £15.00.

Shares in the LSE closed up 11 per cent at £10.60 per unit.