Further re. Acquisition of PLUS Stock Exchange plc
London, 14 June, 2012 – ICAP plc, the world’s leading interdealer broker, notes the recent press coverage regarding its agreement to acquire PLUS Stock Exchange plc (“PLUS”) from PLUS Markets Group plc (“PMG”) and the frustration expressed by certain PMG shareholders.
ICAP has already signed the agreement to acquire PLUS from PMG, and that agreement has been approved by PMG’s Board and is exclusive and binding, subject to a vote by PMG’s shareholders on June 18th and the approval of the FSA to the change in control of PLUS. ICAP’s approach followed the announcement on May 14th by PMG that following several years of losses its process to find a buyer for the business had failed to result in a transaction and that it had commenced a process of ‘orderly closure’.
In the event that PMG’s shareholders do not vote to approve the transaction, the consequences are clear and have been set out in PMG’s recent announcements. In the event the transaction fails to complete by June 21st, the FSA will commence the process as soon as possible to revoke the exchange’s recognition. At that point the winding down of the market will become irreversible and PMG’s shareholders will bear the costs of closing PLUS. It will also cause significant disruption and additional cost to the companies listed on the PLUS market.
ICAP has decided, after listening to the concerns expressed by PMG shareholders, to increase the purchase price for PLUS to £500,000. It has required PMG to confirm that the sum will be added to the amounts of cash available to the shareholders of PMG, for distribution or reinvestment. This is intended to insulate shareholders from the costs of certain contractual payments triggered by the sale of PLUS.
ICAP is fully committed to continue supporting and expanding the equities listings venue which provides growth capital for smaller companies as well as exploring other possibilities. ICAP has been greatly encouraged by the positive response from small cap issuers and sponsors to its proposed acquisition. As an extremely experienced market operator, ICAP is also well positioned to leverage PLUS' exchange status to offer new products and solutions for its customers including, in time, listed derivatives.
Brigitte Trafford Director of Corporate Affairs +44 (0) 20 7050 7103
Neil Bennett Maitland +44 (0) 20 7379 5151
ICAP is the world’s leading interdealer broker and provider of post trade risk and information services. The Group matches buyers and sellers in the wholesale markets in interest rates, credit, commodities, FX, emerging markets and equity derivatives through voice and electronic networks. Through our post trade risk and information services we help our customers manage and mitigate risks in their portfolios. For more information go to www.icap.com.