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Modernizer plots London takeover

OM Gruppen’s takeover bid for the London Stock Exchange is a symbol of Scandinavia’s technological edge in financial services. Nigel Dudley reports

       
Per Larsson

Sitting in his office in the centre of Stockholm, Per Larsson, president and chief executive of OM Gruppen, gives every appearance of being relaxed. Yet the stakes could not be higher for him. Victory in the battle for control of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) would be a major step towards transforming OM Gruppen from a regional to a global market operator with a major say in the future structure of Europe's capital markets.


OM Gruppen's hostile bid has already sparked offone of the roughest takeover battles for some years. This has already claimed the head of LSE chief executive Gavin Casey and thrown the LSE into complete turmoil. Plans to merge the LSE and the Deutsche Börse in Frankfurt, the foundation stone of Casey's strategy, appear dead in the water. And, despite talk of reviving this alliance and a friendly bid from Euronext - the new exchange created by Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam - OM Gruppen's bid of $1.2


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