ICAP Acquires Plus Markets’ Unprofitable Stock Exchange

ICAP Plc (IAP), the world’s largest broker of transactions between banks, said it will pay 1 pound ($1.60) to buy Plus Markets Group Plc (PMK)’s stock exchange, which was scheduled to close after running out of money.

Plus, which has one of only five U.K. exchange licenses, will continue to hold conversations with other firms that may be interested in buying its other units, the London-based company said in a statement today. ICAP said in a separate statement it will “continue supporting and expanding” Plus’s stock-listings business, which is aimed at smaller companies.

“ICAP is well positioned to leverage Plus’ exchange status to offer new products and solutions for its customers including, in time, listed derivatives,” the brokerage said.

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

Plus was being wound down over the next six months after failing to find a buyer. Companies listed on the exchange’s markets were told they needed to find an alternative venue.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nandini Sukumar in London at nsukumar@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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