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ION offers to sell Broadway fixed income biz to clear competition concerns

ION offers to sell Broadway fixed income biz to clear competition concerns

ION Group has agreed to offload Broadway Technology's fixed income business in order to appease the UK's competition watchdog and secure the acquisition of the rest of the company.

Dublin-based financial software and data company ION bought a controlling stake in American outfit Broadway earlier this year.

But the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) says the acquisition raises issues around the supply of fixed income electronic trading systems.

Earlier this month, the CMA gave ION five working days to address its concerns and avoid an in-depth Phase 2 investigation.

The firm has now gotten back to the watchdog, offering to sell the entire Broadway business to a "suitable purchaser" and then buy back the foreign exchange business.

This would mean ION offloading all Broadway fixed income customers, related software, most staff, IT and infrastructure, and the Broadway brand.

The CMA has responded favourably, concluding that the offer, or a modified version, "may allow a suitable purchaser to compete effectively in the supply of sell-side front-office systems for FI electronic trading".

However, the watchdog says it will only accept the plan after ION has entered into an agreement with a buyer. It has until 11 November at the latest to accept or begin a Phase 2 investigation.

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