As per recent announcement made by the firm last week, UK based Aquis Exchange PLC has acquired US based CME Group’s subsidiary NEX exchange for 2.7 Million British Pound. A deal for acquisition of NEX Exchange was agreed upon by the two parties for cash consideration of 1 GBP and nearly 2.7 Million GBP based on NEX Exchange’s current working capital levels. NEX Exchange which is subsidiary of CME Group is a United Kingdom based stock market for growth enterprises and is one of the only four such firms in the country which specialises in equities focused Recognised Investment Exchange (RIE). NEX Exchange has connections to 51 registered brokers, seven market markets and 89companies which are currently listed on its two markets. The combined market capitalisation of the firms listed at NEX exchange is approximately worth around 1.9 Billion GBP. Aquis described the acquisition deal as another step in its aim to become the leading exchange service group in Europe.
The deal is special for the firm as it is a unique opportunity where Aquis gains access to RIE business whose main focus is on primary markets in a time and cost effective manner. As per statement released by the firm, the board of directors of the firm believed that with the company’s experience in both building new businesses in the exchange industry and also in increasing liquidity, Aquis has the ability to transform NEX Exchange greatly given that time is ripe in the industry now owing to several factors including MiFID implications. 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. This comment was made considering audited financial accounts of NEX Exchange for the year ended on 31st March 2018 which saw a reported revenue of 1.51 Million GBP and a loss before tax of 2.05 Million GBP.
The complete acquisition of NEX Exchange is expected to be finalised by autumn subject to FCA approval. When speaking of this deal 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”. Speaking on same topic, Ken Vroman Senior MD for cash markets and optimisation services at CME Group stated that the company is pleased to have reached an agreement on sale of NEX with Aquis and also commented, “There are natural synergies between the two companies, and we believe Aquis is well positioned to take NEX Exchange to the next level of its growth”.
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