Warsaw bourse to buy stake in Aquis, eyes more takeovers
WARSAW (Reuters) - Warsaw bourse operator GPW GPW.WA agreed to buy 30 percent of start-up share trading exchange Aquis for 5 million pounds ($7.8 million) in its first step to expand outside central Europe, GPW's Chief Executive said on Monday.
"This is part of our strategy to look for new sources of growth and business diversification... Business growth in Poland and in central Europe has its limits," Adam Maciejewski told Reuters.
Warsaw bourse, the largest stock exchange in central and eastern Europe, announced plans for the purchase earlier this month.
Britain-based Aquis Exchange was launched in October 2012. Subject to regulatory approval it plans to go live as a pan-European trading exchange in October 2013.
Maciejewski said GPW would continue "looking for growth opportunities outside central Europe."
GPW is in talks with the Vienna bourse operator that could lead to a merger. Maciejewski declined to provide new details.
Vienna, a gateway to central and eastern Europe since the fall of the Iron Curtain, has been usurped by the Warsaw exchange, with its accommodative regulatory framework and slew of privatizations, as the region's main investment hub.
(Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by John Stonestreet)
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