Euronext Chief Eyes Nordics and Euroclear for Next Purchase
(Bloomberg) -- Euronext NV already has 1 billion euros ($1.13 billion) in cash for acquisitions and is eyeing the Nordic region and settlement giant Euroclear to further bolster the stock market operator’s European footprint, Chief Executive Officer Stephane Boujnah said.
The company is also willing to seek additional resources from shareholders if a deal presents itself, he said in a telephone interview on Friday. Priorities in the near term, though, remain reducing debt and integrating the recently acquired Borsa Italiana, Boujnah said.
“We continue to be super focused on exploring and analyzing any opportunity,” he said. Euronext was “very successful” in previous acquisitions in the Nordics and more deals there would be “a natural development.”
Originating in a merger between the Paris and Amsterdam exchanges, Euronext has completed a number of deals under Boujnah to now encompass stock exchanges in seven countries. The company holds a four-hour investment committee every four weeks, he said.
While the number of targets in terms of stock exchanges is limited, Euronext is also open to deals that will help it expand outside the “pure” markets-infrastructure field, to grow in areas such as post-trade, forex and corporate services, Boujnah said. Euronext is “observing with a lot of interest” Euroclear, which would be “a natural addition,” he added.
In the Nordics, Paris-listed Euronext acquired the Oslo stock exchange in 2019, beating rival Nasdaq Inc. in a months-long takeover battle.
“We monitor closely what happens in the Nordics region,” the CEO said. For now stock-exchange owners are “not eager” for a transaction, but that could change in the future, he said. “Things are not for sale until they are.”
Euronext last year missed out on Bolsas y Mercados Espanoles SHMSF SA after the Spanish exchange agreed to be taken over by Switzerland’s SIX Index AG. It’s open to more transformational purchases -- such as its takeover of Borsa Italiana -- amid a wave of exchange consolidation globally. With the acquisition of Borsa Italiana, the firm now generates a third of its revenue from Italy.
“We want to make sure that when the situation becomes actionable, we can react more promptly than the competition and be more agile,” Boujnah said.
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