Nyse specialist Van der Moolen has moved to reduce its dependence on the New York Stock Exchange floor by buying European financial services outfit Curvalue in a cash and share deal valued at up to EUR50 million.
Curvalue currently employs over 150 traders/specialists/IT- and support staff. VDM says it will use the acquisition to expand into screen based trading in derivatives within Europe. The New York firm says it will also offer European execution services to small and mid-size banks, hedge funds and other buy side investors via Curvalue's OnlineTrader.com Web platform.
The total consideration for the Curvalue shares consists of a first payment of EUR5 million plus 3.8 million ordinary VDM shares. In addition, there will be a two-stage earn out of up to EUR20.8 million in cash and 3.8 million VDM shares.
The rise in program trading and Nyse's plans to move to a combined floor-based and electronic market have had a depressing effect on the stock of specialist floor traders like Van der Moolen, which has seen a third of its value erased over the past year.
News of the European deal was thus warmly received, contributing to a nine per cent lift in VDM's share price to EUR4.2.