ICAP finalises purchase of Plus Markets

TROUBLED exchange operator Plus Markets appears to have entered its final weeks after finalising the sale of its stock exchange unit to ICAP yesterday.

Completion of the controversial deal to sell Plus-SX – which will leave shareholders with around £640,000 – means that the group will press ahead with plans to wind-up the rest of the business.

City A.M. understands that many of the remaining Plus staff involved in group functions and its derivatives exchange unit have now received their redundancy notices.

Shareholders threatened to rebel over the terms of the ICAP deal, which will see executives Cyril Theret and Nemone Wynn-Evans walk away with a £423,000 pay-off despite the company’s failure.

But ultimately investors voted in favour of the sale after Plus said the FSA would revoke its license if a deal was not agreed by yesterday.

Following the vote activist shareholder Simon Chapman told this newspaper he expects the board to lose their jobs at next week’s annual general meeting, adding “there are moves afoot to create a new business” using the shell company.

ICAP has bought Plus’ stock exchange as a platform that will enable the firm to move into futures trading.