By Terje Solsvik
OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian stock exchange operator Oslo Bors <OSLO.NFF> is inviting potential buyers to come forward, it said on Friday in a direct challenge to Euronext's <ENX.PA> recent 625 million euro (£562.7 million) offer for the company.
Euronext last month said it had secured the backing of a majority of Oslo Bors shareholders, but the exchange argued that not all potential buyers had been approached and it would explore alternatives.
"The board ... has decided to invite relevant parties that may be interested in the opportunity ... to participate in an offer process," Oslo Bors said in a statement on Friday.
"The process will take place in January and the objective will be to find the optimal solution in the best interests both of shareholder value and of the functions of the group's stock exchange and central securities depository activities in the Norwegian securities market."
The Oslo Bors board intends to meet Euronext and other interested parties before issuing its recommendation to shareholders, it added.
Euronext operates bourses in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon and Dublin.
(Editing by David Goodman)