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.




  • 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)


  • 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)


  • 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


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)


  • 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)


  • 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


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


  • 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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Oliver Bolt

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