ULLINK, a leading provider of electronic trading solutions and connectivity to the financial community, has entered into an agreement to acquire NYFIX and Metabit from NYSE Technologies, part of Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE). The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.
The combination of ULLINK, NYFIX and Metabit creates a genuine player of real scale and a true challenger to the incumbent operators, offering new choice and sophistication to a global customer base. The combined business will be made up of 500 employees, with offices across many of the world’s leading trading centres, servicing over 2,000 clients. The new organisation will have combined revenues of over $130m.
Both NYFIX and Metabit are highly complementary to ULLINK’s existing strengths and will serve to accelerate the company’s growth ambitions. NYFIX’s proprietary trading technology, in particular its “MarketplaceTM” connectivity network, has a strong buy side customer penetration, which complements ULLINK’s core strengths in its sell-side platform offerings. Metabit is a leading Tokyo-based provider of high performance market access products in a unique but valuable community servicing the Asian market.
The strategic rationale for the transaction is very clear. The combination gives ULLINK enhanced buy-side penetration, a powerful footprint in the US market and increased access to the pan-Asian markets. It will also enable NYFIX and Metabit to benefit from ULLINK’s innovative product development values and an outstanding sales & marketing distribution network, whilst becoming part of a group dedicated to and wholly focused on the provision of global trading technology solutions.
The transaction further strengthens ULLINK’s position amongst the other global trading technology solution providers. It is ULLINK’s stated aim that together with NYFIX and Metabit, the combined group will reduce technology friction by being the normalisation layer for the enlarged community’s membership. By easing the buy side access to the sell side and continuing to provide leading edge solutions for the sell side, it is expected to ignite innovation across the spectrum. As the central hub of the community, ULLINK’s ambition is to be the premier technology partner, matching needs with innovative solutions.
The combined company will be merged to operate under the ULLINK brand and will continue to be led by ULLINK Founder and CEO Laurent Useldinger. The merging of the businesses will result in a well-balanced client community, a comprehensive and complementary product range and a deepening of expertise across global markets. Scott Fitzpatrick, COO of NYFIX will become MD of the NYFIX Services business line of the enlarged group and Daniel Burgin, CEO of Metabit, will become COO – ASIA for the enlarged group.
In March 2014, HgCapital, Europe’s leading private equity investor in mid-market technology companies, acquired a majority stake in ULLINK, investing alongside Laurent Useldinger and the current management team. The aim is to grow, both organically and by acquisition, a truly global provider of financial trading technology solutions. Perella Weinberg Partners UK LLP acted as exclusive financial adviser to HgCapital in connection with the acquisition.
Laurent Useldinger, CEO and Founder of ULLINK commented: “This is a transformational transaction for ULLINK which significantly accelerates our growth plans, while creating a true global player in the provision of trading technology products and services. The ULLINK, NYFIX and Metabit businesses and products represent an excellent strategic fit with each other. We also share a strong client led culture and commitment to both customer service excellence and leading edge technology. By building on the strengths that each company brings to this combination, I am confident we will continue to grow rapidly.
Our increased scale and strengths will produce a substantial challenger in the market, delivering benefits for the entire trading technology user base, across all asset classes. For the first time, the financial community will have real choice which will allow them to benefit from our collaborative style, exceptional technical expertise and truly innovative solutions.”
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