Deutsche Boerse open to index and data business deals

NEW YORK • Deutsche Boerse is on the lookout for deals in the index, data and analytics space following the collapse of its merger with the London Stock Exchange Group, the company's chief financial officer said on Wednesday.

The third attempt to create a super bourse by linking London and Frankfurt ended in March after European Union competition regulators opposed the deal, and German officials objected to the head office being based in Britain.

"One of the lessons learnt is that consolidation across the exchange business, at least in Europe, is currently not supported by politicians and regulators," Deutsche Boerse CFO Gregor Pottmeyer said at the Sandler O'Neill Global Exchanges and Brokerage Conference in New York City.

He said uncertainty as a result of Britain's decision to leave the European Union also did not help the exchange M&A landscape, so Deutsche Boerse would focus on areas where the political dependency to get a deal done is not as strong.

That means looking at index, data and analytics businesses, as well as foreign exchange and commodities, Mr Pottmeyer said. "But overall, it always needs two for a tango and therefore our focus is on our standalone strategy, but we are also open to these kinds of M&A opportunities," he said.

The focus on data and index business acquisitions mirrors the recent actions of two of Deutsche Boerse's biggest rivals. Intercontinental Exchange said last Thursday it reached an agreement to acquire Bank of America Merrill Lynch's global research index platform for an undisclosed amount. Two days earlier, LSE said it agreed to buy Citigroup's Yield Book fixed-income analytics service and its related indexing business for US$685 million (S$947 million) in cash, the exchange group's first big deal since the Deutsche Boerse merger fell through.

LSE said the Citi acquisition would boost the size and capabilities of its FTSE Russell indexes business.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2017, with the headline 'Deutsche Boerse open to index and data business deals'. Print Edition | Subscribe