Davy Becomes Largest Shareholder in Ireland’s Stock Exchange

The Irish Stock Exchange Logo Sits at the Headquarters in Dublin
The ISE, a branch of the London Stock Exchange until 1995, had been unable to distribute its cash reserves to its members because, until today, it was a company limited by guarantee. Photographer: David Levenson/Bloomberg

Davy, Ireland’s largest securities firm, became the largest single shareholder in the country’s stock exchange under a plan that will allow the market’s six members to share a 27.5 million-euro ($38.1 million) windfall.

Davy has a 37.5 percent stake after the 221-year-old Irish Stock Exchange became a public limited company, Ailish Byrne, a spokeswoman for the ISE, said by telephone today. Dublin-based Goodbody Stockbrokers, owned by Fexco Holdings, owns 26.2 percent, and Investec Plc 18 percent, she said.

The ISE, a branch of the London Stock Exchange until 1995, had been unable to distribute its cash reserves to its members because, until today, it was a company limited by guarantee. It has also missed out on a wave of mergers and acquisitions in the industry in the past decade.

“This new legal structure brings the ISE more in line with corporate norms,” Deidre Somers, chief executive officer of the ISE, said in a statement. “This change also provides us with greater flexibility for our future development, which is of benefit to all our customers and stakeholders.”

Cantor Fitzgerald LP, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Campbell O’Connor & Co., a Dublin-based broker, each hold about 6 percent of the new company, Irish Stock Exchange Plc, Byrne said. The six firms will each now receive 4.58 million euros of the reserves. Future payments will vary depending on the size of their shareholdings, Byrne said.

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