(Agency corrects In the bulletin published earlier today, the ratings on Deutsche Boerse AG
were misstated. A corrected version follows.)
(The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Dec 20 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that its ratings on SIX Group AG
(AA-/Stable/A-1+), SIX SIS AG (AA/Stable/A-1+), and SIX x-clear AG (AA/Stable/A-1+) are
unaffected by the group's Dec. 17 announcement that it is acquiring Oslo Clearing ASA. The
purchase price is approximately Norwegian krone (NOK) 180 million (about Swiss
francs 30 million).
The transaction, which has been approved by Norway's Oslo Bors' board of
directors and SIX Group's board of directors, remains subject to regulatory
approvals and is expected to close in the second quarter 2014.
We consider the Olso Clearing acquisition to be notable because it
demonstrates SIX Group's intention to grow outside of its core Swiss market,
but is unlikely to transform the group's already strong business profile.
Underlying this view is the relatively small size of the transaction and the
likely strong competition that SIX Group will face in over-the-counter (OTC)
derivatives clearing. Together, this means that even if SIX Group is
successful in developing a profitable business in this space, this activity
could be a modest contributor to group earnings.
SIX Group exhibits a strong balance sheet with no debt leverage and strong
liquidity, in our view. In January 2012, it sold its participation in Eurex to
its joint venture partner, Deutsche Boerse AG (AA/Negative/A-1+), for EUR590
million. The sales contract includes a noncompetition clause. As a result, SIX
Group will not be able to complete the Oslo Clearing transaction until May
2014. Past this period, the group, through SIX x-clear, will be able to clear
derivatives instruments, including OTC derivatives.
RELATED CRITERIA AND RESEARCH
-- SIX Group AG, Dec. 13, 2012
-- Group Rating Methodology And Assumptions, Nov. 9, 2011
-- Analytical Approach To Assessing Nonoperating Holding Companies, March
-- Standard & Poor's Updated Methodology For Rating Exchanges And
Clearinghouses, July 10, 2006