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LME Sets Feb. 15 Deadline for Takeover Bids, CEO Abbott Says

The London Metal Exchange set Feb. 15 as a deadline for takeover bids that will be reviewed by a special committee, Chief Executive Officer Martin Abbott said.

The committee made up of Abbott and three other directors of LME Holdings Ltd. will look at the bids for the 135-year-old exchange before the board of 12 directors meets on Feb. 23, Abbott said in an interview in London today. The directors are Brian Bender, LME chairman, Nat Le Roux, non executive chairman of IG Group Holdings Plc and David Rough, deputy chairman of Xstrata Plc. No bids have arrived, Abbott said.

“We wait for the bids to come back on the deadline next week,” he said at the LME office. “There is no advantage to anybody sending it early. I would expect that we’ll get them all on deadline.”

The LME, owned by its members, handled $15.4 trillion of contracts last year. It sent memorandums of information to potential buyers last month after saying in September it got more than 10 “expressions of interest.” The exchange is being advised by Moelis & Co., a U.S. investment bank.

“The shareholders will take the final decision,” Abbott said. The board will decide whether to recommend the bid to shareholders, with 75 percent support needed for a bid to succeed, Abbott said in September. The bid committee is “responsible for making sure we understand all the detail, together with the bankers, and can report to the board,” Abbott said.

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