BGC Partners plans to hike its takeover bid for derivatives and currency brokerage firm GFI Group Inc., even as GFI draws closer to closing on a separate offer from CME Group.
BGC, a financial and real estate brokerage firm which launched a hostile bid for GFI in October, said Wednesday that it will raise its all-cash tender offer for GFI stock to $5.60 per share. GFI has about 127.5 million shares outstanding, so the new bid amounts to about $714 million.
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CME Group Inc., which is the parent company of the Chicago Board of Trade and other exchanges, raised its bid last month to $5.25 per share, or around $669.4 million. GFI's board approved that deal, and shareholders are set to vote on it Jan. 27. But BGC had sent a letter dated Friday to GFI shareholders urging them to reject that offer in favor of its previous bid of $5.45 per share, which it said offered "superior value and immediate liquidity" at closing.
BGC noted Wednesday that its new offer represented a premium of about 7 percent to the CME bid and an 80 percent jump from the price of GFI shares last summer before CME's original offer was announced.
A GFI Group Inc. representative declined to comment on the latest BGC bid.
BGC Partners Inc. made a $675 million bid for GFI in September and then took the $5.25 per share offer directly to shareholders after the firm refused to discuss a deal.
GFI had agreed in July to be acquired by CME Group in a $4.55 per-share deal.
Shares of GFI Group closed at $5.50 on Tuesday. The stock has climbed about 80 percent since the end of July.