By John McCrank and Bharath ManjeshR
(Reuters) - Nasdaq Inc on Wednesday made a takeover bid for Norway's Oslo Bors, a move that could boost the transatlantic exchange operator's market services, technology and data segments, all of which Nasdaq said boosted fourth-quarter revenues.
The bid, valued at $771 million (£590 million), sets up a takeover battle with Euronext for the 200-year-old Norwegian stock market operator. It follows Nasdaq's recent acquisitions of Swedish technology firm Cinnober and Canada-based alternative data provider Quandl.
Nasdaq already owns all of the other major equity exchanges in the Nordic region - in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania - which share a common technology platform, making it easier to trade between countries.
The Oslo Bors deal would bring Norway's main market into Nasdaq's technological fold and likely lead to higher volumes as more participants are exposed to that market, Nasdaq Chief Executive Adena Friedman said.
"It also means that there could be increased demand data," Friedman said on a conference call with analysts after the Nasdaq released its fourth-quarter financial results.
Nasdaq said on Wednesday revenue from its information services segment, which includes market data sales, was up 20 percent at $187 million last quarter. The Quandl deal is also expected to bolster its data services.
Market services revenue, which includes clearing and trading revenues, soared 21 percent to $740 million, helped by a spike in market volatility in December over fears of a U.S. slowdown and uncertainty around the U.S.-China trade war.
Revenue for market technology rose 7 percent to $76 million, and grew 2 percent for corporate services, adding to an overall revenue increase of 2.4 percent to $645 million.
Nasdaq recorded a net loss of $44 million, or 27 cents per diluted share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to profits of $246 million, or $1.45 per diluted share, a year earlier. The loss was mainly due to a one-time tax charge of $289 million.
Excluding one-time items, Nasdaq earned $1.26 per diluted share, missing analysts' average estimate by a penny, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
(Reporting by John McCrank in New York and Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Richard Chang)