BGC Increases Offer for GFI Group

Firm's tender offer is now for $5.45 per share, a 20-cent increase from its previous price.

New York
The ongoing tug-of-war between CME Group, GFI and BGC has been going on since the summer.

Interdealer broker BGC Partners has increased its bid for rival GFI Group, increasing its offer of $5.25 per share to $5.45.

The move is likely in response to GFI's original suitor, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group, increasing its own price from $4.55 per share to $5.25 earlier this month, amid disruption to an agreed two-step acquisition of the broker agreed in July caused by BGC's hostile bid.

Previously, BGC extended the deadline of its offer from December 9 through to January 6, with an option to extend further if necessary.

Shaun Lynn, president of BGC, wrote to the board and the special committee ─ a group formed of independent GFI directors who are tasked with reviewing the tender offer, and who previously rejected it in favor of the CME deal ─ on December 11 with the revised offer. The information came to light following a regulatory filing by GFI Group, and was originally reported by Bloomberg.

"To address the remaining concern that counsel to the special committee had raised regarding the escrow letter, we would be willing to remove the provision in the escrow letter that had provided that the escrow would terminate if the GFI special committee did not satisfy the board condition prior to the completion of our tender offer," Lynn wrote in the letter. "Therefore, our revised offer is superior to the current CME/GFI management agreement in every way ─ value, speed and certainty."

The special committee and the board are currently reviewing the letter, but have previously appealed to shareholders of the company, saying that the CME deal is their preferred avenue.

At the time of writing, GFI Group was trading at $5.38 on Nasdaq.

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