ICAP’s takeover of Plus is central to the broker’s plan to move aggressively into futures trading for the first time and tackle the dominance of the NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse exchanges.
Analysts view the deal as a move by the broker to pay a cut price for PLUS’s exchange licence, a potentially attractive asset as global regulators look to force more of ICAP’s core over-the-counter derivatives markets to use exchanges.
“This is a sweetener for PLUS shareholders that ICAP hopes will allow it to take ownership of an asset that while loss making could be strategically important given regulatory changes in derivatives trading,” said Richard Perrott, an analyst at Berenberg Bank.
Policymakers in the United States and Europe are keen to implement reforms that will make derivatives trading more transparent and competitive, a move that presents new opportunities to exchange operators.
The clock is ticking…. If we go down in flames, then the real opportunity is denied to Icap (the current management have already denied us our future in the current Plus guise), Theret & Wynn Evans (& Wyvern) are denied their ‘fees’ and we, well we are no worse off than the current situation. £2m for SX Mr Spencer will just about scratch a yes vote. The door is there….