A Swedish Surprise

OM's bid catches the attack on the London Stock Exchange off guard

With his neatly combed blond hair and youthful smile, 39-year-old Per E. Larsson does not look the part of the steely-eyed corporate raider. Yet the president and chief executive of Sweden's OM Group, a financial technology conglomerate that owns the Stockholm Stock Exchange, has just shown how deceiving appearances can be. With OM's $1.19 billion hostile takeover bid for the London Stock Exchange, unveiled on Aug. 29, Larsson has managed to unnerve executives and institutional customers at nearly every one of Europe's 20 or so bourses.

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