(Adds CEO media call) May 15 () – Pan-European exchange Euronext will have room for “selective” acquisitions after its expected 692 million euro ($775 million) purchase of Oslo Bors , Chief Executive Stephane Boujnah said on Wednesday. Euronext, which looks set to win a five-month battle with Nasdaq for Oslo Bors, earlier reported a fall in core earnings for the first quarter as costs stemming from its acquisition of the Irish Stock Exchange mounted. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 3% to 89.3 million euros ($100.07 million)in the quarter. Boujnah said acquiring Oslo Bors would help make Euronext the backbone of Europe’s unified capital market, and act as a “launchpad for other Nordic ambitions”. Euronext shareholders vote on Thursday on the deal which is being financed from cash and debt. The exchange still has some cash left over for more acquisitions, Boujnah told reporters. “We will have to be more selective, but clearly we have a mandate to continue diversification strategy and look at all acquisitions that are relevant,” he said. “We are exploring various avenues to grow Oslo Bors above and beyond its current core geographic market… We are also looking at in-organic acquisitions in the region that could make sense to accelerate our Nordic ambitions.” Euronext has already secured 53.5% of Oslo Bors so far with completion of the deal expected by the end of June. This week, it won the backing of the Norwegian finance ministry to buy all of Oslo Bors, setting no minimum ownership requirement that could scupper the deal. Boujnah said Euronext, which operates stock markets in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Lisbon and Dublin, will present its strategy plan in October, including targets for 2022. ($1 = 0.8928 euros) Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Huw Jones in
London, editing by Emelia Sithole-MatariseOur Standards:The Thomson Trust Principles.