BGC's begins $5.25 per-share tender offer for GFI Group

IndustriesAssociated Press

BGC Partners Inc.'s hostile takeover bid for derivatives and currency brokerage firm GFI Group Inc. began Wednesday with the launch of its tender offer.

BGC made a $675 million bid for GFI last month, but decided to take the $5.25 per share offer directly to shareholders after the firm refused to discuss a deal. The financial and real estate brokerage firm began its tender offer on Wednesday for the shares it does not already own. BGC already has a 13.5 percent stake in GFI.

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A representative for GFI declined to comment on the matter Wednesday.

GFI agreed in July to be acquired by CME Group in a $4.55 per-share deal. As part of that agreement, the combined company would sell GFI's wholesale brokerage and clearing business for $165 million in cash.

BGC argues their offer is superior at a 15 percent premium and argues the CME deal would "deprive GFI shareholders" of the value of their investment because it would sell the business to GFI management at a discount.

Shares of New York-based BGC Partners rose 1 percent to $7.57 by early afternoon, amid a modest market dip. Shares in GFI, which is also based in New York, rose 2 percent to $5.24.