February 11, 2019 / 7:11 AM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Euronext hikes bid for Norway's Oslo Bors to thwart Nasdaq offer

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PARIS, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Pan-European stock market operator Euronext on Monday raised its bid offer for Oslo Bors , intensifying a battle with Nasdaq for the Norwegian stock market operator.

Euronext increased its offer to 158 Norwegian crowns ($18.29) per Oslo Bors share, compared to 145 crowns previously. Nasdaq has put an offer of 152 crowns per share for the deal.

Euronext's latest offer values Oslo Bors at around 6.79 billion Norwegian crowns ($785.7 million).

"We strongly believe that a combination with Euronext provides Oslo Børs VPS with clear and superior benefits compared to any other offer. Oslo Børs VPS will maintain its identity and integrity within Euronext's decentralised model with a strong impact on the future strategy of the enlarged group," Euronext Chief Executive Stéphane Boujnah said in a statement.

"Oslo's role as a key financial centre will be reinforced. Oslo Børs VPS employees will be empowered to develop the satisfaction of their clients, with the ability to shape the future for Euronext and for the Norwegian economy," added Boujnah.

Euronext, which runs exchanges in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Lisbon and Dublin, is looking to expand its portfolio but remaining opportunities are scarce as market operators either already belong to large groups or because their shareholders want to remain independent.

Large-scale mergers have also met opposition from competition regulators, who have blocked a planned tie-up between Deutsche Boerse and the London Stock Exchange.

$1 = 8.6418 Norwegian crowns Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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