March 17, 2020 / 7:17 AM / 18 days ago

SIX expects Spanish clearance for BME bid in H1

ZURICH, March 17 (Reuters) - Swiss exchange SIX expects to get Spanish regulatory clearance by mid-year for its friendly, all-cash 2.84 billion euro ($3.17 billion) offer for Madrid bourse BME, it said when announcing annual results on Tuesday.

SIX made the offer in November for the Spanish bourse, when pan-European stock market operator Euronext said it was in talks with BME with a view to a potential bid.

Euronext said last month it won’t decide on whether to make a counter-bid for the Madrid bourse until it has to.

SIX offered BME 34 euros per share, implying a total equity value of 2.843 billion euros, a hefty 34% premium over BME’s market capitalisation of just over 2 billion euros before the offer was announced. BME closed on Monday at 30.50 euros.

Owned primarily by Swiss banks, SIX also said its 2019 earnings before interest and tax increased by nearly a quarter to 168 million Swiss francs ($177 million), while profit from continuing operations rose 27% to 120.5 million.

It proposed cutting its dividend to 3.90 francs per share from 4.10 francs the year before.

$1 = 0.8966 euros $1 = 0.9496 Swiss francs Reporting by Zurich newsroom; Editing by Catherine Evans

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