A visitor enters the Euronext Paris stock exchange in La Defense business district of Paris, France, on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. European investors shook off the rejection of U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal in parliament ahead of a confidence vote, opening higher after mixed markets in Asia, and gains in the U.S. Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg
© Bloomberg

Euronext has raised its offer to buy Oslo Børs, aiming to persuade undecided shareholders to reject a rival offer from Nasdaq for Norway’s main stock exchange.

Paris-headquartered Euronext on Monday said it had offered NKr158 per share, up from its previous offer of NKr145 per share. The offer, which values Oslo at nearly €700m, tops a NKr152 per share deal the Oslo board has agreed with New York based Nasdaq.

Both suitors in the battle for Oslo have significant support for their bids but neither has an overwhelming majority. Euronext has irrevocable support from 50.5 per cent of shareholders, while Nasdaq has 35 per cent of shareholders pledging irrevocable support, and approval from the Oslo board.

Oslo is dominant in seafood derivatives and expertise in oil services and shipping. It also owns a central securities depository, where deals are settled.

Euronext said its offer would allow Oslo to keep its identity and integrity. “Oslo’s role as a key financial centre will be reinforced,” said Stéphane Boujnah, Euronext’s chief executive.

The irrevocable support pledged by Euronext shareholders expires at the end of August. But Euronext said that 38 per cent of Oslo’s shareholders had agreed to extend their promises until the end of December, when a similar pledge from shareholders supporting the Nasdaq bid expires.

Both sides have also pledged an interest payment of 6 per cent a year interest on the offer price until the deal is closed.

Euronext, which owns the Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin and Lisbon exchanges, remains reliant on share trading but has sought to diversify in recent years with smaller purchases in foreign exchange, corporate services and research management.

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