Financial institutions M&A: Sector trends - July 2020: Stock Exchanges/Clearing Houses/Trading Venues

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP Financial Institutions M&A sector trends: Stock exchanges/clearing houses/trading venues — H1 2020 and outlook for H2 2020.

Clash of the pan-European titans—-M&A plans signalled by LSE, Euronext and Deutsche Börse



  • Consistent; high activity levels


  • European giants on the move:
    • Horizontal mergers (e.g., SIX's acquisition of 93.16% of BME followed less than 18 months after Euronext's acquisition of Oslo Børs)
    • Domestic consolidation (e.g., BÖAG Börsen's acquisition of a majority stake in ICF Bank)
    • Vertical integration with post-trade utilities (e.g., Euronext's acquisition of 70% of VP Securities)
    • Cross-border collaboration (e.g., SIX's and Nasdaq's microwave data transmission JV)
    • Disciplined implementation of innovation strategies, targeting risk management (e.g., Euronext's acquisition of Ticker Software and and data analytics (e.g., LSE's acquisition of Refinitiv)


  • European champions seek scale and volume:
    • Diversification of offerings (e.g., Moscow Exchange's acquisition of a minority stake in BierbaumPro)
    • MiFID II failed to shift more equities trading to stock exchanges
    • IPOs are temporarily shelved in the COVID-19 climate
    • Availability of bank-owned non-core financial market infrastructure assets (e.g., disposal of VP Securities by Danske Bank, Nykredit, Nordea and Jyske Bank)
  • Politics interferes with deal-making:
    • Nationalistic attitudes (e.g., Italian government threatened "direct public intervention" in Borsa Italiana in event of sale by LSE)
    • Preservation of domestic utilities (e.g., Türkiye Varlık Fonu's increase of its stake in Borsa İstanbul to 90.6%)
    • Global tensions (e.g., China temporarily halted cross-border listings collaboration between Shanghai Stock Exchange and LSE)


  • Clash of the pan-European titans—aggressive M&A plans signalled by LSE, Euronext and Deutsche Börse
  • Banks offload "liquid" financial market infrastructure stakes


M&A to achieve scale remains high notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic. Competition between market participants for the same high-value targets is likely to intensify (e.g., Deutsche Börse's and Euronext's rumoured interest in Borsa Italiana)

Publicly reported deals & situations

Inorganic growth

Market highlight:

SIX's successful acquisition of a controlling stake in BME will result in the combined group being the third-largest financial market infrastructure operator in Europe by revenue

  • SIX (Stock exchange): Acquisition of 93.16% of Bolsas y Mercados (June 2020)
  • BÖAG Börsen (Settlements): Acquisition of majority stake in ICF Bank (April 2020)
  • Euronext (Post-trade utility): Acquisition of 70% of VP Securities (April 2020)
  • Moscow Exchange (e-FX): Acquisition of minority stake in BierbaumPro (March 2020)

International expansion

  • IHS Markit (Singapore): Acquisition of Catena Technologies (May 2020)
  • SIX and Nasdaq (Switzerland): Microwave data transmission JV (April 2020)

The promise of returns

  • Consortium of Belgian: investors Acquisition of more than 5% of Euroclear (June 2020)
  • J.P. Morgan: Digital post-trade services streamlining JV with Bloomberg (June 2020)
  • Guru Capital: Acquisition of ETX Capital (May 2020)
  • Citibank and HSBC: Participation in US$10.5 million Series B funding round for Spark Systems (May 2020)
  • ALREG: Acquisition of 5% by Credins Bank (April 2020)
  • Borsa Istanbul: Acquisition of 10% by Turkish Wealth Fund (January 2020)

Risk management

  • Euronext (Insider list and liability register management): InsiderLog's acquisition of Ticker Software and (June 2020)

Click here to download Financial services M&A experiences shortness of breath in H1 2020 (PDF)

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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