Euronext eyes acquisitions in market data or post-trade services

PARIS (Reuters) - Euronext ENX.PA is looking for opportunities to buy market data or post-trade services providers, CEO Stephane Boujnah said on Wednesday, after larger rival London Stock Exchange LSE.L said it was in talks to buy Refinitiv in a $27 billion (£22.1 billion) deal.

The logo of stock market operator Euronext is seen on a building in the financial district of la Defense in Courbevoie, near Paris, France, May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

The Pan-European stock market operator said it still had some cash left for more “selective” acquisitions after recently buying Norwegian stock exchange Oslo Bors for 700 million euros.

“We are looking at two avenues to grow...welcome another independent exchange or diversify into market data, post-trade or other non-volume dependent services,” Boujnah told reporters in a conference call to discuss the company’s second-quarter financial results.

His comments come days after LSE, whose market capitalisation is five times as large as Euronext’s, said it was in advanced talks about a $27 billion bid to buy financial data provider Refinitiv Holdings Ltd in a deal that could transform the exchange operator into a global market infrastructure and data giant.

Refinitiv is owned by buyout fund Blackstone BX.N and Thomson Reuters Corp TRI.TO, Reuters' parent company.

The interest from stock exchange operators for market information services underscores their will to diversify into more stable sources of cash flow than their primary businesses which rely on transaction volumes.

The model of charging fees per transaction could potentially be disrupted in the future by new technologies such as the blockchain that could dramatically cut costs.

Euronext, which operates stock exchanges in Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Lisbon and Paris, has recently acquired a minority stake in Tokeny Solutions, a startup providing services to issue and handle tokenised securities on public blockchains, for 5 million euros.

Euronext will disclose its planned savings targets from the acquisition of Oslo Bors on October 11. The company has booked a 10 million euro charge in the second quarter, mainly because of the cost of the acquisition.

As a result, second-quarter net profit fell 4.4% to 53.4 million euros.

Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by GV De Clercq and Kirsten Donovan