Euronext is to acquire a 51% stake in European securities lending platform SecFinex.
Launched in 2000, SecFinex offers traders in the largely telephone-based market access to a live, price-driven marketplace over the Internet, and claims some 50 financial institutions as clients.
The European securities lending market had a size of about $500 billion in 2005 of which 10% was traded electronically, says Euronext, which is anticipating a switch to more automated trading as the marketplace matures.
The Exchange says the acquisition will enable SecFinex to extend its client base to members of Euronext and Euronext.liffe, and ultimately to improved post-trade processing.
Under the terms of the agreements, SecFinex will remain an independent company, with Euronext represented on its managing board. The other main shareholders are Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking and Fortis Merchant Bank.
The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2007, subject to regulatory approvals.