Euronext acquires Irish Stock Exchange

Dec 01, 2017
Deal agreed for €137 mn ($162 mn) acquisition of ISE shares and voting rights

Euronext has acquired the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) in a move designed to capitalize on ‘market opportunities in a post-Brexit environment,’ according to Euronext CEO and chair Stéphane Boujnah.

The deal, which will be finalized in Q1 2018, pending regulatory approval, will mark Euronext’s expansion into a sixth European country. Using a federal model, it already has operations in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and the UK.

Fifty-one domestic companies are listed on the ISE’s equity market. It was the first debt listing venue and fund listing venue globally, with 30,000 securities, listings from 90 countries, 5,342 investment fund securities and 227 exchange-traded funds, according to a media release.

‘ISE is ideally positioned to benefit from market opportunities in a post-Brexit environment,’ Boujnah says in a statement. ‘Within this environment, our unique federal model clearly demonstrates its added value through a single cross-country liquidity pool, a single state-of-the-art proprietary technology, a single rule book and a complete and diversified set of services, while maintaining strong local input within our balanced federal governance.’

The acquisition brings Ireland’s public capital markets closer to continental Europe, following the UK’s Brexit vote last year.

‘Brexit has two consequences for Ireland,’ ISE chief executive Deirdre Somers tells CNBC. ‘The first is obviously that immediate impact of Brexit on the Irish economy. The second is that we need to redefine our relationship with a very different Europe, a Europe without the UK.

‘The UK has been a very natural ally for Ireland, particularly in financial services in the past. So without a doubt this a pivot toward the EU, it’s a pivot toward our colleagues in Europe, and it’s the ISE saying Our future is in Europe, and we prefer to be part of that European family in a more integrated way.’

Somers will join Euronext’s managing board with group-wide responsibility for debt funds and ETFs listings. Padraic O’Connor, non-executive chair of the ISE, will be proposed as a member of Euronext’s supervisory board at the next Euronext AGM.

The ISE’s regulator, the Central Bank of Ireland, is also expected to join Euronext’s college of regulators – a group of supervisory authorities from each of Euronext’s member countries.

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