Acquisition Target Inches Closer as BGC Partners Extend GFI Offer

BGC Partners draws closer to GFI Group takeover with two week extension

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The tender offer extension from BGC Partners will expire on February 19.

BGC Partners has announced an extension to its all-cash tender offer of $6.10 per share for rival interdealer broker GFI Group to February 19 after CME Group’s offer failed to meet shareholder approval last week.

The battle over GFI has been waged since July last year, although following the rejection of CME's offer by CFI shareholders, the extension of BGC's offer should see the deal finally draw to a close.

According to BGC, approximately 70 percent of GFI shares not owned by executives or directors supported the transaction, and combined with the 17.1 million shares already owned by BGC, means the firm is only 1.7 percent of total shares away from its 45 percent goal required to progress the deal forward.

BGC increased its offer to $6.10 per share on January 29 on the condition that CFI shareholders rejected a proposed CME-CFI merger; a CFI shareholder meeting on January 30 resulted in a rejection of the merger offer.

"Including the 17.1 million shares BGC owns and the 37.9 million tendered, stockholders representing approximately 43.3 percent of GFI shares supported our transaction," says Howard Lutnick, chairman and chief executive officer of BGC. "We are grateful to those stockholders who have already tendered, and believe that just a few passive investors and/or retail stockholders may not have realized how close we all are to reaching our 45 percent goal.

"Giving stockholders the additional time to realize the tremendous value of our proposal should lead to more shares being tendered," he adds. "This in turn will make it possible for all stockholders to receive the $6.10 per share in cash to which they are entitled."

The tender offer is now due to expire at 7 p.m. (EST), February 19, 2015.

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