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UPDATE 1-Deutsche Boerse holds onto options market ISE for now
July 25, 2014 / 1:56 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Deutsche Boerse holds onto options market ISE for now

* Deutsche Boerse focused on organic growth

* Would look at M&A opportunities

* No share buyback planned (Adds CFO comment on ISE unit)

FRANKFURT, July 25 (Reuters) - Deutsche Boerse is open to possible acquisitions and has not hired banks to sell its International Securities Exchange (ISE) unit, the Frankfurt-based exchange operator’s finance chief said on Friday.

Sources familiar with Deutsche Boerse told Reuters last month that the group was considering selling ISE, but that valuation levels were currently not attractive enough to pursue a sale in the short run.

“I can confirm that we not have opened up a selling process with any bank,” Gregor Pottmeyer said on an analyst call to discuss second-quarter earnings on Friday.

Deutsche Boerse is focussing on organic growth, but is also open to potential acquisitions, he said.

“Complementary M&A opportunities or partnerships are evaluated on a continued basis. When we would see something that would make sense then we are open to discuss.”

Deutsche Boerse bought ISE - then the second-largest U.S. options market - in 2007 for about $2.8 billion, but was forced to book a series of impairment charges on the asset, including one of 415 million euros in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The German exchange operator has had a series of setbacks in the United States including a failure to gain permission to offer options on some key U.S. indexes.

Through its ISE platform Deutsche Boerse attempted to make a push into the market for U.S. equity options, complementing its own electronic derivatives platform Eurex, which offers trading in European equity options, index options and futures.

Options trading volume has been hit by the introduction of new bank rules which force traders to underpin options bets with more capital.

Pottmeyer also said on Friday that there will be no opportunity to start a share buyback programme over the next few quarters. (Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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