NASDAQ OMX acquires shares in Baltic Exchanges

NASDAQ OMX acquires shares in Baltic Exchanges

18/11/09

NASDAQ OMX Nordic, part of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ), has agreed with Swedbank and SEB to acquire their minority stakes in the NASDAQ OMX Tallinn exchange. At the same time, other local minority shareholders have also sold their stakes in NASDAQ OMX Tallinn to NASDAQ OMX, bringing NASDAQ OMX's ownership in NASDAQ OMX Tallinn to 93 percent. In connection with this deal, SEB has also sold its 1.2 percent stake in NASDAQ OMX Vilnius to NASDAQ OMX. NASDAQ OMX's goal is to reach 100 percent ownership in all NASDAQ OMX's Baltic entities in the near future. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition is a step in a joint co-operation initiative between NASDAQ OMX, SEB, Swedbank, East Capital and other Nordic banks operating on the Baltic markets with the objective of revitalizing the local capital markets. With the support from these market participants, NASDAQ OMX Baltic also announced today its intention to launch a new single marketplace for trading of shares listed on the regulated markets NASDAQ OMX Tallinn, NASDAQ OMX Riga and NASDAQ OMX Vilnius.

“We are pleased to announce this agreement together with SEB and Swedbank, and happy to start executing on our joint vision of revitalizing the Baltic capital markets”, commented Hans-Ole Jochumsen, President NASDAQ OMX Nordic. “The cooperation initiative is open to any market participant interested in increasing the attractiveness of these capital markets”.

”For SEB and all other market participants in the Baltic countries it is important to grow the size and improve the liquidity of these markets,” said Annika Falkengren, CEO and President of SEB. ”The sale of our shares is an important step in this direction and is positive not only to us but to the region as a whole.”

”This decision is an important first step in the joint co-operation initiative between Swedbank, NASDAQ OMX, East Capital and other Nordic banks operating on the Baltic markets to improve the functionality of the local capital markets. Through this initiative the Baltic countries can emerge from the present recession more powerful than they were before the recession started”, said Michael Wolf, President and CEO of Swedbank. ”I hope that we will see many more actions based on the joint co-operation initiative that will develop and improve these capital markets.”

Prior to NASDAQ OMX's acquisition of the shares in NASDAQ OMX Tallinn, SEB held 12.1 percent of the shares in NASDAQ OMX Tallinn. Swedbank had 13.2 percent of the shares in NASDAQ OMX Tallinn before the acquisition. Other shareholders that have also sold their shares in NASDAQ OMX Tallinn are Cresco Väärtpaberite AS (3.1 percent), EVLI Securities (1.3 percent), Eesti Pank (1.1 percent) and AS Eesti Krediidipank (0.7 percent). Discussions are ongoing with Gild Holdings, the only outstanding minority shareholder in NASDAQ OMX Tallinn.