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Hong Kong Bourse Has Roped in UBS to Help Court LSE Investors

Jan-Henrik Förster and Viren Vaghela

(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. has started working with UBS Group AG as it begins its charm offensive to convince London Stock Exchange Group Plc investors on the merits of its takeover bid, people familiar with the matter said.

The Swiss bank has been brought in as an adviser and is helping HKEX arrange meetings with LSE shareholders, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. HKEX was already working with U.S. boutique investment bank Moelis & Co. on the $37 billion bid.

LSE last week rejected HKEX’s takeover offer, citing problems in “strategy, deliverability, form of consideration and value.” HKEX said afterward LSE shareholders “should have the opportunity to analyze” the proposal in detail.

Beyond the political, regulatory and commercial hurdles, HKEX is also demanding LSE walk away from its own $27 billion deal for data provider Refinitiv. HKEX has quietly begun its campaign on the ground, citing analysts’ criticism of the proposed Refinitiv acquisition, Bloomberg News has reported. An Aug. 13 Commerzbank AG research report pointed to sluggish growth at Refinitiv and said a substantial part of its revenue base is in “structural decline.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Jan-Henrik Förster in London at jforster20@bloomberg.net;Viren Vaghela in London at vvaghela1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dinesh Nair at dnair5@bloomberg.net, ;Ambereen Choudhury at achoudhury@bloomberg.net, Ben Scent, Matthew Monks

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