The Nasdaq's ( NDAQ) multibillion-dollar takeover offer for the London Stock Exchange has many virtues, including a big premium over the stock price prior to the bid and the promise of uniting two leaders in electronic trading. Still, its timing was odd. The unsolicited bid, announced late last week, was rejected by the London exchange, setting the stage for what many expect to be a bidding war with the New York Stock Exchange ( NYX), which is said to be mulling its own offer. Those expectations are based in part on the NYSE's newest takeover weapon: the publicly traded stock created last week when the company completed its merger with Archipelago. That raises a question. Why did the Nasdaq wait until the NYSE was so armed before launching its surprise offensive? "I don't really have a great answer," says Rich Repetto, equity analyst at Sandler O'Neill, adding that the only plausible reason was the time it took to put together a bid. Still, other bidders have been eying the LSE since December 2004, so the Nasdaq had plenty of time to consider its possibilities. Even without the NYSE breathing down its neck, an acquisition of the LSE by the Nasdaq is no slam-dunk. For one thing, the U.S. exchange will have to borrow heavily to finance the purchase, in which it would be swallowing a company with a market cap that is roughly the same as its own. To make matters more difficult, one of the Nasdaq's financial advisers, JP Morgan, dropped out of the deal team on Friday, leaving boutique investment bank Greenhill its lead adviser. A spokesman for the Nasdaq reassured TheStreet.com on Sunday that it wouldn't have any trouble closing a deal. "We are working with a number of international investment banks who are helping us to develop a proposal," he said. "We have several sources of advice and funding support."