4 Jun 2009

NZX sale of South Africa exchange a step closer

12:53 pm on 4 June 2009

Regulatory approval has been gained for a merger under which stock exchange operator NZX will sell its stake in South Africa's bond exchange for more than 50% more than it originally paid.

NZX will sell its 22% stake when the Johannesburg Stock Exchange buys out the bond exchange.

The operator is set to make millions of dollars from the investment, some eight months after buying the stake.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange's offer of 125 rand per share for all shares in the bond exchange represents a 71% premium on the price NZX paid in October last year.

All regulatory approvals for the takeover were completed this week and the competition tribunal in South Africa has given permission for the deal to go ahead.

The final step is for the High Court of South Africa to sanction the takeover. That application will be heard this month.

NZX rejected the Johannesburg Stock Exchange's initial offer of 90 rand, saying it did not reflect the current, or likely future value of the bond exchange.

Johannesburg Stock Exchange then increased its offer and the board of the Bond Exchange has recommended shareholders accept the offer.

NZX says it will book a one-off $50 million gain from selling the stake, and separately, its carbon registry business.