German Regulators Okay Tullett’s Acquisition of ICAP Broking Business

London-based Tullett Prebon PLC is on track to close an attempted takeover of rival ICAP’s voice brokering unit and one of its hybrid electronic platforms after German regulators have accepted the proposed acquisition, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters today.

Completion of the £1.1 billion ($1.38 billion) transaction, however, remains subject to approval by various regulatory bodies including the FCA and satisfaction of other closing conditions. The deal also needs approval from regulators in Europe and the US.

Interdealer broker Tullett said that it was working with over 30 regulators globally to secure approval, but it is still confident to close the deal by the end of the year.

The merger agreement, plans for which were first made public last year, will be financed with new Tullett shares and result in the world’s largest interdealer broker with revenue of nearly $1.8 billion a year.

The deal would see Tullett take on ICAP’s global broking business, which includes more than 1,500 brokers who negotiate deals over the phone. In return, ICAP would take a minority stake of 20 per cent in Tullett. It will also rebrand to NEX Group and focus on electronic trading and markets infrastructure, which have driven its growth in recent years, but will exit the voice broking business on which it has operated since the mid-1980s

Tullett and ICAP act as middlemen in global over-the-counter markets across many trading products including spot foreign exchange, equity derivatives, bonds and interest rate swaps. However, regulatory requirements as well as widespread shift from voice to electronic trading have slashed trading volumes and squeezed profits across the entire sector.

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