BGC Partners makes $675M cash offer for GFI Group

SHARE BGC Partners makes $675M cash offer for GFI Group

NEW YORK — BGC Partners Inc. is offering $675 million in cash for the derivatives and currency broker GFI Group Inc., trying to derail a competing bid from CME Group.

BGC said Tuesday that it will pay $5.25 per share in cash for each share of GFI it doesn’t already own, a price that represents a premium of more than 15 percent to CME’s all-stock offer of $4.55 per share. BGC Partners, a financial and real estate brokerage, already owns a 13.5 percent stake in GFI.

New York-based BGC said it is taking its tender offer directly to GFI shareholders after GFI refused to discuss a deal. BGC Partners President Shaun D. Lynn said in a letter to GFI directors that his company’s proposal was “clearly superior.”

“We believe that GFI’s customers and brokers would benefit from GFI being part of a larger, better capitalized and more diversified company,” Lynn wrote.

A GFI Group representative declined to comment on the latest offer.

GFI and CME Group, a derivatives marketplace, announced their deal on July 30 and said the combined company would sell GFI’s wholesale brokerage and clearing business for $165 million in cash.

BGC said that deal deprives GFI shareholders of “the appropriate value of their investment” because the brokerage business would be sold to a consortium of GFI Group management at a discount.

GFI Group shares closed at $5.03 on Monday and have climbed nearly 29 percent so far this year.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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