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Nasdaq Raises Offer for Crypto-Orientated Financial Services Provider Cinnober to $220M


cryptovest.com 18 December 2018 21:30, UTC
Reading time: ~2 m

New York-based Nasdaq Inc has raised a per share price offer for the Swedish crypto-orientated financial services provider Cinnober, according to the US stock exchange’s press release from Tuesday. The company is making the acquisition bid via its Stockholm-incorporated wholly-owned division Nasdaq Technology AB.

The revised offer includes prices of 87 Swedish kronor per share and 121 Swedish kronor per warrant compared to 75 Swedish kronor and 85 Swedish kronor offers respectively in the first acquisition attempt in mid-September. The new bid puts the Cinnober market value at 1.9 billion Swedish kronor ($220 million), which is nearly 17% higher than the previous one.

Nasdaq also decided to waive conditions regarding regulatory, governmental or similar clearances as initially the US company made the bid conditional on obtaining all regulatory approvals. Currently, the United Kingdom’s antitrust authorities are examining the offer, with a decision expected to be announced in February next year.

Nasdaq revised its offer after its first attempt was rejected several days ago although Cinnober’s Board of Directors unanimously had recommended shareholders to back the bid. The initial proposal was accepted by only 37% of the shareholders, according to the Financial Times. Some of the owners, including David Zetterlund, declined to accept the Nasdaq price because they saw the offer as “undervalued.”

Cinnober, which was unprofitable in the first months of 2018, has begun to improve its market performance under the management of Peter Lenardos, which took the CEO position in August. In November, one of the largest European cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitstamp, decided to replace its matching engine with Cinnober’s technology.

According to the Nasdaq statement, the firm now has the support of shareholders representing 82.6% of the shares and votes. To proceed, the deal must be backed by at least 90% of the capital owners. The acceptance period ends on January 9, 2019.

“Nasdaq is acquiring a company that is in much better financial shape than it first thought, with good revenue momentum and a much lower cost base, in addition to no funding requirements,” Lenardos said as quoted by the FT.

Established in 1998, Cinnober is a global provider to brokers, exchanges, and clearinghouses. One of its main offerings is TRADExpress, which specializes in trading and post-trade services for cryptocurrency exchanges.

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