Financial institutions M&A: Sector trends - July 2020

Stock Exchanges/Clearing Houses/ Trading Venues

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



Current market

  • Consistent; high activity levels

 We are seeing

  • 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)

Key drivers/challenges

  • 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)

Trends to watch

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

Our M&A forecast

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)


Financial institutions M&A: Sector trends

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