Irish Stock Exchange bought in €159m deal

Five of the country’s main stockbroking firms are set to share nearly €159m from the sale of the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE).

European market operator Euronext — which owns the Paris, Amsterdam, Lisbon and Brussels stock exchanges — has acquired the ISE; spending €137m on all of its shares and a further €21.8m covering its regulatory capital requirements. The transaction is expected to complete during the first quarter of next year.

Davy is currently the ISE’s largest shareholder; followed by Goodbody, Investec and Cantor Fitzgerald and Campbell O’Connor. The five split a €27.5m windfall three years ago when the exchange was demutualised.

The 224 year-old ISE has, reportedly, been looking for a strategic partner or buyer for a number of months, with its attractiveness largely linked with Ireland’s continuing EU membership. Its chief executive Deirdre Somers — who will become Euronext’s head of debt, funds and exchange-traded funds; as well as a member of its managing board after the deal closes — said Euronext is “the perfect partner” and called it “a landmark day” in the ISE’s history.

Euronext chief executive and chairman Stéphane Boujnah said the deal represents “a major milestone” in the company’s expansion.

“ISE brings to Euronext leading global positions in debt, funds and exchange-traded funds listings markets. As part of Euronext, ISE’s growth initiatives will be reinforced with Euronext’s full support,” Mr Boujnah said.

“ISE is ideally positioned to benefit from market opportunities in a post-Brexit environment,” he added.

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