Nyse Euronext says it has agreed in principle to buy Atos Origin's stake in the Atos Euronext Market Solutions (AEMS) joint venture, in a move that will bring its technology operations back in-house.
The 50/50 joint venture was formed between Euronext and Atos Origin in 2000 to manage internal software development and licensing the exchange's technology platforms NSC and Clearing 21 to third parties. The JV was later merged with the Euronext.Liffe Market Solutions business.
Under the agreement Nyse Euronext is acquiring the 50% stake in AEMS held by Atos Origin and repurchasing ownership of the NSC cash trading and Liffe Connect derivatives trading platforms, as well as AEMS's third-party exchange technology business for EUR275 million. Nyse Euronext says the figure represents 50% of the value and 50% of the net cash position of AEMS.
Meanwhile Atos Origin will acquire the third-party clearing and settlement and capital markets businesses from AEMS for EUR20 million.
Following the deal Atos Origin will become Nyse Euronext's preferred supplier of integration and outsourcing IT services.
Jean-François Théodore, deputy CEO of Nyse Euronext, says the move to bring technology back in-house "gives us greater flexibility and a competitive advantage in a fast-moving exchange landscape where technology is key".
"Bringing the expertise of a large number of highly skilled IT personnel back in-house will enable us to better deliver on our commitments to provide our customers with more efficient trading services and to deliver IT synergies to our shareholders," says Théodore. "We will also be able to continue our strategy of selling our state-of-the-art trading platforms to more exchanges around the world."
Atos Origin CEO, Philippe Germond, says the agreement is "very satisfactory" for both parties, which will run IT activities that are core to their respective business.
"Atos Origin can thus turn to the future and pursue its strategy going forward to reinforce the company in businesses such as payment services in Europe where Atos Origin believes it has a role to play in the future," says Germond.
Nyse Euronext says the contemplated re-integration of the technology businesses within both organisations will be completed by the end of the summer in 2008.