Euronext to list on its markets as ICE gets out

Marion Dakers
EURONEXT is to list shares on four of its own stock exchanges across Europe as it becomes an independent company, its American owner Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) said yesterday.

The firm will float on the Euronext markets in Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels in the next few months, before listing shares in Lisbon later in the year. The move is expected to value the group at €1.5bn (£1.22bn).

ICE bought NYSE Euronext for $11bn last year and plans to keep the New York Stock Exchange as well as the London-based Liffe derivatives business and its IT platform.

However, boss Jeffrey Sprecher said yesterday that “Euronext, as a leader in Europe, should operate independently and in the interests of its customers and local economies”.

The European Commission cleared ICE’s purchase last summer and said the tie-up did not create competition issues.

Ahead of the initial public offering, Atlanta-based ICE will sell a 33 per cent stake in Euronext “at a limited discount” to a group of 10 investors including BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and Euroclear.

The participants will be forced to keep their shares for at least three years after the float, lowering the chances of a rival exchange swooping in with a bid to take control of the company.

Co-ordinating the float are investment bankers from ABN Amro and Societe Generale as well as JP Morgan’s London-based exchange specialist Jeremy Capstick.

He has worked on the wave of consolidation across the global financial markets in recent years, including Deutsche Boerse’s failed attempt to merge with NYSE Euronext in 2011 and the latter’s subsequent purchase by ICE.

Euronext chief executive Dominique Cerutti told reporters yesterday that he was confident of strong investor interest in the shares, despite a rocky few weeks for market debuts in London.