Plus Markets Closes as Funds Run Out, Takeover Talks Fail

Plus Markets Group Plc (PMK), which operated the smallest U.K. stock exchange, will close after running out of money and failing to find a buyer.

London-based Plus “will be wound down over a period of up to six months in order to minimise market disruption,” it said in a Regulatory News Service statement today. Companies listed on the exchange’s markets will need to find an alternative listing venue and Plus said it will sell its “remaining assets.”

It considered various options including potential takeover offers, a share placement, a capital injection and asset sales. It also held talks with “a number of parties” including stock exchanges and trading platforms, inter-dealer brokers, technology providers and private equity and wealth funds, the company said.

Set up by former London Stock Exchange Plc executives, Plus sought to compete with the LSE, and was granted exchange status in 2007. Still, it was unable to attract listings, unlike other new entrants such as Bats Global Markets and Chi-X Europe Ltd.

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