The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has agreed terms to acquire UK financial market software and data services vendor Proquote, for a maximum consideration of £22 million.
LSE will acquire Proquote for an initial payment of £10.9 million. A further £1.7 million will be payable to the firm's founder and managing director Daron Lee, subject to certain sales targets being met valuing the company at approximately £12.6 million.
Additional consideration of up to £9.4 million would become payable subject to specified sales targets being met for the financial years ending March 2004 and March 2005, which would result in the Exchange possibly paying out £22 million for the firm.
Established three years ago, Proquote supplies Internet-based trading products that deliver real-time price data and market information to professional and private investors. The firm's revenues in the year ended 31 May 2002 were £0.5 million and in the first seven months of the current year, £0.6 million.
The Exchange says the provision of direct access software will bring strategic benefits, including the potential to recruit new member firms, particularly from outside the UK.
In addition, the deal will give the Exchange immediate entry into the financial market software and data services business and the opportunity to promote products through Proquote's online service.
Clara Furse, LSE chief executive, says: "Given the Exchange's product knowledge, financial backing and customer network, Proquote will be well-placed to further accelerate its sales."
Daron Lee will continue as managing director, reporting to the Exchange's Information Services business, which is headed by chief information officer David Lester.
Proquote will continue to operate from its current headquarters in Cheshire, although the Exchange will provide additional sales, product management and marketing support.
For the nine months ended 31 December 2002, turnover in the Exchange's information services division increased 7 per cent from £71.5 million to £76.7 million, supported by increased contribution from the Regulatory News Service and FTSE joint venture. The LSE however reported a fall in the number of desktop terminals receiving exchange data.