UK Competition Watchdog Investigates Ion’s Acquisition of Fidessa

Earlier in April, Fidessa ditched a takeover by Swiss fintech ‎company Temenos in favor of Ion’s deal.

Ion Capital’s $1.5 billion proposed acquisition of UK rival Fidessa Group faces an in-depth antitrust probe by UK authorities. Britain’s Competition and Markets watchdog on Monday said it had opened an investigation into the deal to assess whether the buyout would significantly reduce competition in the sector.

An interim report will be published with provisional findings in the next few weeks, the CMA said.

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Earlier in April, the British trading technology group has ditched a takeover by Swiss fintech ‎company Temenos in favor of Ion’s deal. Ion, backed by U.S. private equity firm Carlyle, was one of two potential suitors looking to break up Fidessa’s deal with Temenos, which said it would not make a revised offer for Fidessa. The other bidder was the US-based financial services technology group SS&C Technologies.

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At the time, Ion’s chief executive said Fidessa’s position in equities and derivatives trading solutions will complement his company’s fixed income and FX capabilities and will enable the financial software group to serve customers more effectively across all asset classes.

The UK-based trading technology supplier recommended the deal to ‎shareholders, who will receive £38.7 per share, plus the 79.7 pence of dividends ‎‎announced before the company’s 2017 results. This means the total offer is worth £39.5 per share, which is at nearly a 9 percent premium to the Temenos proposal.

The FTSE 250 company, which provides trading and infrastructure software to financial institutions, saw its shares close slightly up by 15pc, or 0.4 percent, on Monday.

Last year, the CMA told InterContinental Exchange (ICE), which owns the New York Stock Exchange, for the third time that it must sell Trayport, the energy trading technology shop it acquired for $650 million in December 2015. The Competition Appeal Tribunal also backed the ruling by the UK antitrust watchdog that the deal could curb competition in the European energy trading market.

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