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Author: Don Obrien

Financial institutions M&A: Stock Exchanges/Trading Venues | White & Case LLP


Financial institutions M&A sector trends: stock exchanges/trading venues — H1 2021 and outlook for H2 2021

Global FMI juggernauts snatch up fund platforms, trading venues and data analytics providers, under the increasingly vigilant gaze of European competition authorities.

Overview

CURRENT MARKET

WE ARE SEEING

  • Global FMI giants expand horizontally:
    • Through acquisitions (e.g., Euronext’s acquisition of Borsa Italiana and Tinkoff’s acquisition of minority stake in Saint Petersburg Exchange)
    • Through JVs (e.g., CME Group’s post-trade services JV with IHS Markit)
  • Search for alternative revenue opportunities through vertical integration
  • European leaders battle tech specialists in the data analytics arena (e.g., Infront’s acquisition of Oslo Market Solutions)

KEY DRIVERS/CHALLENGES

  • Global FMI giants focus vertical integration firepower on:
    • Fund platforms (e.g., Deutsche Börse’s acquisition of 48.8% of Clearstream Fund Centre and Euroclear’s acquisition of MFEX Group)
    • Trading platforms (e.g., Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s acquisition of Link Market Services South Africa)
    • Data analytics (e.g., Luxembourg Stock Exchange’s acquisition of 22.8% of Tetrao and London Stock Exchange’s acquisition of Refinitiv)
  • Differing investor prerogatives:
    • Loading up on liquid assets (e.g., VTB’s acquisition of 5.77% of Saint Petersburg Exchange and Intesa Sanpaolo’s acquisition of 1.31% of Euronext)
    • Offloading of non-core liquid assets (e.g., NPS RTS Association’s disposal of 5% of Saint Petersburg Exchange)

TRENDS TO WATCH

  • Increasing scrutiny of vertical FMI deals by UK and European competition authorities:
    • IHS Markit’s disposal of Oil Price Information Services and Coal, Metals and Mining businesses to facilitate S&P Global & IHS Markit merger
    • London Stock Exchange’s disposal of Borsa Italiana to facilitate acquisition of Refinitiv
  • London Stock Exchange and Euronext go head-to-head to attract European SPAC listings

OUR M&A FORECAST

Stock Exchanges/Trading Venues—Publicly reported deals & situationsHorizontal expansion to remain opportunistic and under close scrutiny of European competition authorities. Uptick in vertical diversification deals as global FMI players flex M&A muscle to remain competitive.

Stock Exchanges/Trading Venues—Publicly reported deals & situations

Inorganic growth

LSE has had its strongest start since 2006. There were 11 IPOs raising £3.24 billion in between the start of 2021 and 24 February 2021. Financial News (March 2021)

Amsterdam surpassed London as Europe’s largest share trading centre since Brexit, with an average €9.2 billion shares a day traded on Euronext. Financial Times (February 2021)

London’s financial sector started to feel the full effects of Brexit on the first trading day of 2021 as nearly €6 billion of EU share dealing shifted away from the City to facilities in European capitals. Financial Times (January 2021)

Acquisitions:

  • Johannesburg Stock Exchange (Trading platform): Acquisition of Link Market Services South Africa (June 2021)
  • Deutsche Börse (Crypto trading and digital asset custody): Acquisition of majority stake in Crypto Finance (June 2021)
  • Tinkoff Group (Stock exchange): Acquisition of minority stake in Saint Petersburg Exchange (June 2021)
  • Moscow Exchange (Financial marketplace): Acquisition of 70% of INGURU (May 2021)
  • Deutsche Börse (Fund platform): Acquisition of 48.8% of Clearstream Fund Centre (May 2021)
  • Nxchange (DLT trading platform): Acquisition of Bondex (May 2021)
  • Euronext (Stock exchange): Acquisition of Borsa Italiana (April 2021)
  • Bourse Direct (Asset management): Acquisition of Arobas Finance (March 2021)
  • Euroclear (Fund platform): Acquisition of MFEX Group (March 2021)
  • Deutsche Börse
    (Proxy advisory):

    Acquisition of 81% of Institutional Shareholder Services (February 2021)
  • Luxembourg Stock Exchange (Data analytics):
    Acquisition of 22.8% of Tetrao (January 2021)
  • London Stock Exchange
    (Data analytics):

    Acquisition of Refinitiv (January 2021)

JVs:

  • CME Group (Trading operations): Post-trade services JV with IHS Markit (January 2021)

Re-aligning footprint

  • Euronext (Asset management solutions): Disposal of Centevo (March 2021)

Loading up on/offloading of ‘liquid’ stakes

Loading-up:

  • VTB: Acquisition of 5.77% of Saint Petersburg Exchange (June 2021)
  • Intesa Sanpaolo: Acquisition of 1.31% of Euronext (April 2021)

Offloading:

  • NPS RTS Association: Disposal of 5% of Saint Petersburg Exchange (April 2021)

Searching for alternative revenues

  • Infront (Data solutions): Acquisition of Oslo Market Solutions (June 2021)
  • Johannesburg Stock Exchange (Trading platform): Participation in US$9 million Series A+ funding round for Globacap (February 2021)

Click here to download ‘Financial services M&A reaches dizzying heights as COVID-19 lockdowns and travel bans come to an end’ PDF

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