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8 core investors back Euronext listing

Tuesday, April 15 11:50:23

A consortium of eight anchor investors have committed to buy a 25-30pc stake of stock exchange operator Euronext ahead of a potential E1.5 billion listing expected in June, three sources familiar with the matter said today.

The group of investors comprises BNP Paribas, Societe Generale, Caisse des Depots, ING , ABN Amro, Banco Espirito Santo, the Belgian government investment vehicle SFPI and Belfius bank .

Euroclear, one of the two main clearing houses for securities traded in the Europe, is also expected to join the consortium, one of the sources said.

Anchor investors were brought in as part of efforts to keep Euronext in the hands of its constituent exchanges rather than those of circling rivals including the London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.

Anchor investors commit to buying a stake in an initial public offering (IPO) before the event to bring certainty of pricing and control and help to ensure the success of an IPO.

A successful spin-off of Euronext is key to reaping the benefits of IntercontinentalExchange's (ICE) $11 billion November acquisition of NYSE Euronext, parent company of the New York Stock Exchange.

ICE is expected to save $500 million through selling off Euronext, which is not seen as core to the business. Euronext operates exchanges in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, London and Lisbon.

The main driver behind the NYSE Euronext deal was control of Liffe, Europe's No. 2 derivatives market. Liffe also has a U.S. business that ICE said it will wind down, moving the derivatives contracts to other exchanges.

Euronext, SFPI, Caisse des Depots and BNP Paribas declined to comment. The other institutions were not immediately available for comment. (Reuters)