Press releases 2000
2 February 2000
EXCHANGE ANNOUNCES PROPOSED CHANGES TO OWNERSHIP STRUCTURE
Vote on demutualisation set for 15 March
The London Stock Exchange is today issuing a circular and Information Memorandum to B shareholders seeking their approval to become a public company with transferable shares, enabling the Exchange to operate on a fully commercial basis.
An Extraordinary General Meeting has been set for 15 March 2000, when the Exchange's B shareholders will be asked to approve the proposals.
Commenting on the demutualisation proposals, Sir John Kemp-Welch, chairman of the London Stock Exchange, said: "This move comes at a time when stock exchanges worldwide are operating in a rapidly changing environment that affects many aspects of their businesses.
"We believe the new structure will put us in a strong position to respond to these changes. A simplified ownership structure will allow us to focus on delivering enhanced services to our customers and improved returns for our shareholders."
Subject to the necessary approvals, the Exchange's aim will be to maximise shareholder value through the provision of high quality, competitively priced services to its customers, including issuers, investors and intermediaries. The strategy will be based on:
Consolidating and enhancing the Exchange's leading position in the UK and internationally
Continuing to invest in the development of new products and services
Playing a leading role in the development of European and other international equity trading markets.
The Exchange's trading performance from its continuing activities has progressed from a loss before taxation of 16.1 million in 1995 to a profit before taxation of 17.5 million in 1999.
Gavin Casey, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, said: "We are in a strong market and financial position with the resources to compete more effectively in the future. These proposed changes are a vital step in ensuring our competitive edge."
Note to Editors
The proposals require the support of 75% of the votes cast at the Extraordinary General Meeting. The Exchange's shares will not be listed but trading will be available on a matched bargain basis. Subject to the necessary approvals, dealings in the shares are expected to commence in May 2000.
Schroders, which is regulated by The Securities and Futures Authority Limited, is acting for London Stock Exchange plc and no one else in connection with the proposals to B shareholders and will not be responsible to anyone other than London Stock Exchange plc for providing the protections afforded to the customers of Schroders or for providing advice in relation to the proposals.
Schroders has approved the contents of this announcement solely for the purposes of section 57 of the Financial Services Act 1986.