I Now Pronounce You Merged!

Nov 24, 2008

I Now Pronounce You Merged!

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Today our partner Michael (Max) Maxworthy was quoted by Max Bowie for Inside Market Data.

…This week alone, European multilateral trading facility Chi-X tied the knot with data technology provider Cicada, while Swedish news provider Direkt divorced Swedish electronic publishing house Bisnode to elope with Norwegian data vendor Infront, and Interactive Data remarried the NTT Data Financial Corp. subsidiary of Japan’s NTT data, the two having previously divorced in the 1990s.

Chi-X’s purchase of Cicada gives the market operator a second, established technology platform at its fingertips, in addition to its current trading and data engine, to sell to other markets. However, it’s unclear how the deal will impact clients that are also competitors-for example, Nasdaq OMX Europe also uses Cicada’s technology for some key components of its MTF platform. How comfortable will Nasdaq OMX Europe feel about a core part of its proposition being controlled by a direct competitor?

Meanwhile, Interactive Data is buying back its former Japanese subsidiary from NTT Data, in order to support a more targeted push into the country. Though notoriously protective of domestic vendors, Interactive Data Asia Pacific managing director Jim Farrer says the country has opened up to global vendors as it has opened up to global investment strategies, making now the perfect time for Interactive to redouble its efforts in Japan to grab a share of that market. Importantly, though, by buying an established domestic vendor, Interactive neatly sidesteps any problems associated with breaking into a new market as a foreign vendor.

You can, of course, find more details on all these stories in this issue of Inside Market Data.

Michael Maxworthy, partner at Marlin & Associates, an investment banking and advisory firm that specializes in brokering deals between technology and data vendors, describes the current climate as “an interesting time” for mergers and acquisitions.

“It is plainly evident that parts of the M&A market have been seriously impacted by the current financial and economic turbulence-particularly larger deals that rely on debt leverage,” Maxworthy says, though he adds that “the market certainly is not dead, and deals are getting done. In fact, we still see keen interest from sellers who are ready to exit, and from buyers with cash looking for firms that lead their niche and have managed to continue growing through this cycle.”

http://www.insidemarketdata.com/public/showPage.html?page=827571

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