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December, 2012

December saw the London Stock Exchange renegotiate terms to €312m (down from over €450m) for its announced acquisition of a 60% stake in LCH.Clearnet to reflect higher collateral charges on clearing houses by European regulators.  Trading platforms saw further activity with MBO vehicle Hamsard 3297 taking a 67% stake in online exchange platform LMAX Ltd led by CEO David Mercer and Australian-based The LiaSoft group acquiring e-FX trading software firm Velsys Ltd.  UK automotive industry data provider Carweb was sold to US-based insurance outsourcer Solera Holdings.

ICAP were also busy announcing the acquisition of liquidity optimisation services business Global Research and Technology as well as an investment in reconciliation vendor Model Two Zero following its earlier investment in the business through ICAP’s start up incubator Euclid Opportunities. ICAP also saw Citigroup take an equity stake in its interest rate swap trading platform iSwap Limited alongside other existing institutional investors.

November, 2012

Fintech continues to be active with support services provider Xchanging acquiring AR Enterprise Srl the Italian securities software / IT business for up to €28.6m and enterprise management software solutions provider Jonas Software, a subsidiary of Constellation Software Inc, acquiring London & Zurich, the integrated payment collection solutions provider.  On the trading side, fixed income exchange MarketAxess has agreed to acquire European post-trade services group Xtrakter from Euroclear for £26m and Hay Tor Capital LLP, KAS BANK N.V. and management announced the acquisition of the Swedish independent electronic trading and brokerage service provider Neonet from Nordic Capital.

Outsourced administration has also been active with Marlborough Fund Managers acquiring third party fund hosting business Investment Fund Services Limited from BNP Paribas Securities Services, Close Brothers Private Equity acquiring the SIPP and pensions administration business Xafinity Consulting from Equiniti and Millhouse Inc acquiring a 75% stake in Australian managed investment services provider The Huntley Group.  Equiniti also acquired corporate governance and company secretarial business Prism Cosec.

October, 2012

Overseas interest in the sector from the United States remained active with US investment decision support tools provider MSCI announcing its interest in acquiring UK real estate investment performance business IPD Group for £78m, NASDAQ-quoted NICE Systems acquiring market surveillance solution provider Redkite, MarketAxess acquiring London-based regulatory trade reporting business Xstraker from Euroclear for £26m and financial services marketing solutions provider Affinion making a preliminary approach for CPP Group, the UK life assistance products business.

Continuing the cross-border theme, UK-based digital corporate communications specialist Investis agreed to acquire US-based Morningstar’s investor relations business, alternative investment software solutions provider eFront acquired US alternative asset investor reporting business DMLT and Experian agreed to acquire a further 29.6% stake in Brazilian credit bureau business Seresa for BR$3.1bn (£948.6m).

Finally, acquisitive outsourcer Quindell Portfolio also acquired insurance software house (including telematics) Metaskil for £4.5m and services provider Threesixty acquired a 25% stake in paraplanning firm The Timebank.

September, 2012

FinTech continued to be active with US-based Bottomline Technologies gaining OFT approval for its acquisition of UK payments processing business Albany Software, Swiss banking technology business Temenos acquiring user experience platform software provider edge IPK and Ireland-based First Derivatives announced the £3.15m acquisition of three UK acquisitions including Horizons Ltd (design services for real-time electronic trading systems) and Cowrie Financial (trading system and platform implementation consulting services).

Elsewhere PricewaterhouseCoopers acquired New Zealand-based corporate financial risk management business Asia-Pacific Risk Management and newly formed investment vehicle Pipeline Capital acquired Plus Markets’ derivatives exchange business Plus DX for £10,000 with support from Pipeline director Clive Connors, who was until December 2011 a director of Plus DX.  Credit industry broker TDX also acquired debt management and insolvency practitioner workflow and case management software provider Sawfish Software.

August, 2012

The cash / payments market was active with Canadian mobile commerce and wireless payment software solutions provider Mint Technology acquiring money transmission business Speed Remit Worldwide Ltd for US$6.5m, turnaround investors Rutland Partners announcing the sale of NoteMachine, the European independent Automated Teller Machine business, to funds managed by Corsair Capital / management and Braveheart Investment Group announcing that subsidiary Envestors Limited had supported a £2.25m equity fundraising for fast-growing mobile commerce company MoBank.

Elsewhere, software and e-commerce services supplier Ebix Inc acquired insurance trading service provider TriSystems Limited, analytics specialist FICO acquired Adeptra, the cloud-based customer interaction and fraud prevention solutions provider for $115m, outsourcing services provider Equiniti acquired financial services technology provider peterevans and LCH.Clearnet acquired sole ownership of International Derivatives Clearing Group (IDCG) from Nasdaq OMX.

July, 2012

Foreign exchange was active with Mexican banking and financial services group Monex SAPIB de CV acquiring commercial FX provider Schneider Foreign Exchange for c. $100m.  The Currency Cloud, a web-based provider of currency conversion and international payment solutions for businesses, secured a £2m investment from Notion Capital to fund its continued growth and expansion.

The ordinary shareholders of LME Holdings approved its acquisition by Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Limited, with completion targeted for Q4 pending FSA approval.  TS-Associates, a supplier of measurement tools for high-speed trading, acquired the assets of latency management service provider Correlix.

S&P Capital IQ completed its acquisition of London-based Credit Market Analysis Limited, a leading source of independent data in the OTC markets, from CME Group.

June, 2012

Exchange operators remained busy in June with London Metal Exchange finally agreeing a £1.4bn offer from Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing whilst Plus Stock Exchange agreed a raised £500,000 offer from ICAP and agreed the sale of its trading technology arm to Forum Trading, an acquisition vehicle of the Plus TS technology team. Foreign exchange was active with FXCM acquiring a 50% controlling interest in FX trader Lucid Markets and Monex Group acquiring commercial FX provider Schneider Foreign Exchange for c. $100m. In addition, Skrill Holdings, backed by Investcorp, acquired Austrian-based paysafecard.com Wertkarten, a provider of prepaid online vouchers.

Quindell also continue to be active with the acquisition of cloud-based claims management company Intelligence Claims Management and insurance e-business solutions provider Innovation Group acquired Belgian-based insurance outsourcing business Value Partners NV.

OpenLink Financial, the operations / risk management software business, announced the acquisition of credit risk management business CubeLogic.

May, 2012

A busy month for Fintech with London Metal Exchange continuing to be pursued by IntercontinentalExchange and Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing, financial information vendor Markit agreeing to buy enterprise data management specialist Cadis, US-based Wright Express Corp acquired UK payment processor Corporatepay and loss-making Plus Stock Exchange agreed a sale for £1 with interdealer broker ICAP

US-based financial services software provider SS&C Technologies’ offer for hedge fund administrator GlobeOp was declared wholly unconditional with SS&C also closing the Thomson Reuters Portia acquisition.  LDC-backed Avelo, the financial intermediary technology provider, acquired mortgage distribution technology business TrigoldCrystal. Execution and commission management platform IND-X acquired Asian research management house Enzard.  Insurance outsourcing was also active with Capita acquiring life insurance risk assessment business Medicals Direct.

April, 2012

LCH.Clearnet continues to be active following last month’s approach from the London Stock Exchange with the acquisition of US-based International Derivatives Clearing Group while Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing became the first bidder to formally announce its interest in London Metal Exchange. McGraw-Hill unit S&P Capital IQ acquired market data and trading technology vendor Quanthouse and Germany-based Software AG acquired low latency messaging software business my-Channels.

On the private equity side Bowmark Capital sold securities lending data business Data Explorers to Markit whilst Ric Traynor (Chairman of Begbie Traynor) led the MBO of credit risk information database business Red Flag Alert.

March, 2012

Vista Equity Partners remains the only bidder for banking software house Misys whilst London Stock Exchange Group announced the acquisition of a 60% stake in clearing house LCH.Clearnet and the sale of its 49% stake in Tokyo AIM Inc to the Tokyo Stock ExchangeSS&C Technologies has trumped an earlier bid for hedge fund administrator GlobeOp Financial Services by TPG Capital in a £572m deal.

Private equity continues to be active with outsourcing and software solutions provider Target Group securing an investment from RBS Special Opportunities Fund and Nordic Capital demerging trading technology businesses Neonet and CameronTec from recently acquired Swedish trading systems business Orc Group.  Payment technology vendor CreditCall completed a MBO backed by FF&P Private Equity & Bestport Ventures and AnaCap acquired the International Corporate Trustee Services division of IFG Group for £70m.

Mobile money outfit Monitise agreed a £109m all-share deal to acquire US-based counterpart Clairmail whilst Visa Europe acquired a 15% stake in Mobile Money Network, a JV between Monitise, Best Buy Europe and Charles Dunstone.  Mortgage technology provider Mortgage Brain acquired mortgage systems provider MortgageStream, professional services firm Kinetic Partners acquired Luxembourg-based fund advisory firm AB Fund Services, IT consultancy Rule Financial acquired US-based consultancy Waterline Group, Experian acquired online identity verification firm 192business and quoted insurance outsourcing firm Quindell acquired personal injury claims firm Enzyme International.

February, 2012

Banking software house Misys announced a merger with Swiss banking and wealth management provider Temenos followed by further offers from Vista Equity Partners and a potential joint takeover from existing shareholder ValueAct Capital and CVC Capital Partners.  Vista also acquired Thomson Reuters’ trade and risk management business Kondor (renamed Turaz) and Thomson Reuters subsequently sold its middle and back office investment operations Portia to US-based SS&C Technologies for $170m.  US exchange groups NYSE Euronext and CME Group have submitted bids for the London Metal Exchange.

Private equity has also been active with Japanese cash handling business Glory acquiring Talaris from Carlyle for £650m and Sovereign Capital owned compliance specialist IMS Group acquiring alternative asset administration business HedgeOp as well as taking full ownership of its US affiliate IMS US ConsultingGeneral Atlantic also acquired a stake in FNZ, the platform technology provider alongside existing shareholder HIG Capital.

Brady, the commodities software business, acquired Norwegian energy and commodity trading business Navita Systems for £17m and Syseca, the Swiss logistics software business for the electricity markets for £1m.  Sopra, the French IT software business announced the acquisitions of Tieto’s UK financial services business as well as Business & Decisions’ UK business.  NYSE Euronext acquired a 25% stake in trading technology house Fixnetix whilst asset management technology business SEI acquired US wealth management technology house Northstar Systems International.  Finally in payments, Irish payments business FEXCO acquired currency exchange service No 1 Currency and business software house Sage acquired Irish card processing payments business Integral Computers.

January, 2012

Private equity was active with TPG Capital announcing a £508m deal to acquire LSE quoted hedge fund administrator GlobeOp.  However rival Nasdaq-listed provider of investment management software and fund administration services SS&C Technologies Holdings also announced it was considering its options on a potential bid. Sovereign Capital-backed compliance services business IMS Group also announced a merger with US compliance software and consulting services business HedgeOp Compliance, LLC.

Continuing the private equity theme, Dunedin-backed wealth management and tax planning adviser Hawksford Trust Company Jersey acquired Trustcorp (Jersey) Ltd, a corporate services provider. Software provider Option Computers (DealHub) acquired FX post trade solutions provider RCP from Luxembourg-based B2 Group. Finally, UK ATM operator Bank Machine Ltd acquired cash machine installer Complete Technical Services Ltd from administrators Baker Tilly.