The Nasdaq Stock Market agreed to buy Nordic stock exchange operator OMX for $3.67 billion Friday, as Nasdaq seeks to expand abroad following a series of rival stock market mergers.
The acquisition is a major breakthrough for the U.S. electronic stock exchange, which failed in a previous attempt to form a trans-Atlantic operation by taking over the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Nasdaq still owns almost 30% of the LSE and speculation is mounting as to whether the stake could be sold to fund the OMX acquisition.
"This OMX transaction with Nasdaq gives us a clear footprint in the European theater," Nasdaq Chief Executive Robert Greifeld told "Worldwide Exchange."
The deal brings together the largest electronic stock market in the United States and the owner of the share markets in Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Iceland and the Baltic states as well as OMX's market technology business, which accounts for over a third of its annual turnover.