NASDAQ targets Canada with Marketwired acquisition

Feb 16, 2016
<p>Exchange operator announces deal to buy newswire and analytics firm</p>

NASDAQ has agreed to buy Marketwired, the news distributor and communications firm, as the exchange operator targets further expansion into North America.

Founded as Internet Wire in 1994, Marketwired now provides both a press distribution service and a suite of analytic tools, including social media targeting platforms, to a contact book of 8,500 clients.

NASDAQ is expected to integrate the firm’s distribution into its own GlobeNewswire platform to improve the reach of its newswire service, as well as rolling out Marketwired’s social media tracking service across its client base.

Mike Piispanen, vice president and head of PR solutions at NASDAQ, says that as both platforms are built on similar technology, this move will be relatively painless and allow the firm to pick out the best aspects of each.

The Marketwired deal comes on the back of several NASDAQ investments into the Canadian market, including an agreement to acquire Chi-X Canada, the country’s largest alternative share trading platform.

‘This not only pairs well with those investments but also extends our brand footprint throughout North America,’ says Piispanen. ‘We are especially excited about the French language capabilities we can now extend to our existing French-speaking client base.’

Though any move is still subject to regulatory approval, NASDAQ is set to acquire the press release distributor from the private equity arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, which is thought to have been considering a sale since last October.

The deal was announced on NASDAQ’s website as one that is expected to have little impact on the company’s long-term financial status, being funded through a mix of debt and ready cash. It also states that the deal should close in the first quarter of 2016.

Piispanen says this move will have an impact for NASDAQ’s IR clients, as it will allow them to more closely collaborate with PR on outbound communications and analyze online responses. ‘The old way of just delivering via the traditional wires is not going away completely, however, as it is still the preferred method of the majority of institutional investors,’ he adds.

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