Hong Kong Stock Exchange offers to buy London Stock Exchange for $36.6 billion

Hong Kong Exchanges (HKEX) and Clearing has launched a takeover bid for London Stock Exchange Group, offering one of Europe’s largest exchanges £29.6 billion ($36.6 billion).

The Hong Kong exchange said the proposed combination would strengthen both businesses, better positioning them to innovate across markets and geographies. It added that the takeover will offer market participants and investors unprecedented global market connectivity.

“Bringing HKEX and LSEG together will redefine global capital markets for decades to come,” Hong Kong Chief Executive Charles Li said, as cited by Bloomberg. “Both businesses have great brands, financial strength and proven growth track records.”

The deal will be funded by a combination of existing cash and a new credit facility, according to the HKEX.

It said it expected key LSE management to keep their jobs and work for the new owners.

The LSE said it will consider its Hong Kong rival’s offer, which it called “unsolicited, preliminary, and highly conditional.”

HKEX’s offer comes just five weeks after the LSE announced its own deal, a surprise merger with data group Refinitiv which is part of Thomson Reuters.

Shares in the London Stock Exchange have surged to a new all-time high following the offer, jumping 16 percent to £78.94.