Shares of NEX Group skyrocketed today as the UK-based Fintech company confirmed it has received a non-binding indicative proposal from the operator of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
NEX Group said CME Group is seeking to acquire all shares at an indicative cash price of £10 ($14) per share, which would value NEX at £3.80 billion ($5.35 billion). Shares in NEX closed up 9.8 percent at 976.43p on Wednesday, giving it a market value of nearly of £3.71 billion ($5.22 billion).
The company said in a statement: “Discussions are at an advanced stage; there can be no certainty that an offer for NEX will be made, nor as to the terms of any offer. A further announcement will be made if appropriate.”
Formerly called ICAP, NEX Group rebranded as an electronic trading, post-trade and fintech company after Tullett Prebon bought its voice trading business for £1.3 billion ($1.6 billion) in 2016.
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In January, NEX Group’s CEO Michael Spencer has increased his stake to roughly 17 percent. The CME’s offer could also attract interest from other exchange operators including Deutsche Börse, ICE and SGX.
The company’s unit NEX Markets provides FX and fixed income electronic trading technology and services via its EBS and BrokerTec platforms. NEX Markets’ EBS electronic trading platform has reported its spot FX volumes at $108.3 billion daily for February 2018.
The CME’s offer is the latest move to reinforce its UK presence. The exchange operator was reportedly considering making an offer for the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE), but has not yet decided whether to proceed with a bid.
It also submitted a bid to buy LCH Group for more than $340 million pounds, setting the stage for a battle over LSE’s French clearing business, which has ultimately signed a share swap deal with Pan-European stock exchange Euronext.