FCA Approves Aquis' £27m Deal to Acquire NEX Exchange from CME Group

Ricardo Esteves

Ricardo Esteves has seen business and economics through many lenses. He joined the Financial Services Industry in 2009, and has been a financial journalist since 2011. He holds a degree in Business Administration and has experience producing real-time news, from both buy-side and sell-side, as well as for retail traders, brokers and service providers. Esteves' work has appeared in a variety of online publications including FX Street and FinanceFeeds.

UK FCA

FCA Approves Aquis’ £27m Deal to Acquire NEX Exchange from CME Group

March 7, 2020

Financial Conduct Authority - NEX ExchangeThe UK Financial Conduct Authority has approved the transaction of Aquis Exchange to acquire NEX Exchange from CME Group, first announced on 5 July 2019.

Aquis aims to become the leading exchange services group in Europe and the firm believes it has the ability to transform the old NEX Exchange business at a time when MiFID II implications and other factors make the IPO industry ripe for innovation.

NEX Exchange will be re-named Aquis Stock Exchange (AQSE) and will enter a consultation period with market participants, regulators, and issuers. Non-Executive Director Glenn Collinson will step down from the Aquis Exchange PLC board and will join the board of AQSE on completion.

Alasdair Haynes, Chief Executive Officer of Aquis, commented: “We are delighted that this acquisition has now been approved and we look forward to welcoming NEX Exchange’s staff, customers and other stakeholders to our Group. Since announcing our intention to purchase the business we have been most encouraged by the appetite for change in the industry. We look forward to building Aquis Stock Exchange into the supportive home for quality growth businesses we believe it should become.”

Aquis Exchange is an exchange services group that operates pan-European cash equities trading businesses and develops and licenses exchange software to third parties. The deal to acquire NEX Exchange was announced in mid-2019. CME Group accepted a cash consideration of 1 GBP and nearly 2.7 Million GBP based on NEX Exchange’s working capital levels.

NEX Exchange specializes in equities focused Recognised Investment Exchange and has connections to 51 registered brokers, seven market markets and 89 companies which are currently listed on its two markets. The deal is special for Aquis as it is a unique opportunity to gain access to RIE business whose main focus is on primary markets.

The board members believe that this deal puts them at a unique spot to build a pan-European technology-driven listing exchange for growth companies thereby significantly reducing loss in initial period post-acquisition and also ensuring significant cost savings in short term.

At the time of the first announcement, Alasdair Haynes, CEO of Aquis Exchange commented: “Our stated aim is to become the leading technology-driven exchange services group, and this acquisition is a milestone towards delivering this vision. We have a successful blueprint of proven technology and are confident that we can not only deliver growth but we can also positively address the current issues in small and mid-cap trading. We have the capability, capacity and ambition to drive further shareholder value through this transaction”.

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