Rolet relief as LSE set to seize LCH.Clearnet

THE LONDON Stock Exchange is closing in on its takeover of LCH.Clearnet after winning sufficient backing from shareholders in the clearing house.

The deal, which values London-based LCH at €813m (£675.7m), is expected to be approved today at shareholder meetings of both firms.

The LSE plans to take a stake of up to 60 per cent in LCH. It said its €20 a share offer was accepted by parties representing more than 60 per cent of LCH’s share capital and it has received proxy votes representing around 85 per cent also backing the deal.

The transaction is due to be completed in the fourth quarter and will provide a boost for the growth plans of LSE chief executive Xavier Rolet, who wants to diversify the exchange.

The LSE took total control of stock index provider FTSE International in December, buying Pearson’s 50 per cent stake for £450m, but failed to complete a merger with Canada’s leading stock exchange operator TMX earlier last year.

Last month Rolet described the proposed LCH deal as “transformative”, saying: “We will seek to promote greater innovation, choice and competition in the listed derivatives market through this new-style open-access clearing model.”

The LSE differs from most of its rivals in not owning the clearing house for its main market, which has become more of a problem as trading revenues have fallen while earnings from clearing have held up.

On Friday the LSE said the value of share trading was down two per cent for the 11 months to the end of February while Italian equity trading was up two per cent.

Shares in the LSE closed up 1.64 per cent last night at £10.51.