Hong Kong Exchange proposes $36B takeover of London Stock Exchange

By Mergers and AcquisitionsFOXBusiness

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange says it has started talks to buy the London Stock Exchange that would value the British company at $36.6 billion.

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The offer comes weeks after the London exchange announced a plan to merge with data company Refinitiv in a $27 billion deal.

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The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. said Wednesday that a deal would provide the London Stock Exchange with a key opening to Asian markets and underpin the British capital's role as a financial hub.

The offer comes at a time of heightened uncertainty for London and British companies because of Brexit, which threatens to create barriers to trade for the country. A weakened pound has also made U.K. companies cheaper takeover targets.

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The Hong Kong exchange is required to make a binding offer by Oct. 9.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.