Merged Exchanges Integrate Infrastructures

Terry Flanagan

One of the most integral processes of an exchange merger is how the combined entities will integrate their technology and infrastructure.

While mergers between exchanges usually focus on aspects such as cost savings and global expansion, just as important are the combination and assimilation of both companies’ technology infrastructure, which can often take an extended period of time.

Russia’s Micex and RTS recently completed their merger, combining the two largest exchange platforms in the nation. Their infrastructures and technology were also integrated and trading on the combined venues started Monday. Micex, or the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange, and RTS, or the Russian Trading System, made the move to combine in the hopes that it will position Moscow as an international financial center in the coming years. The exchanges will hope that in the future, domestic companies such as Mail.ru, which last year chose to list on the London Stock Exchange, will instead choose to list locally, rather than abroad. The exchanges are also planning for an initial public offering in 2013.

“Though the teams have been working together for a few months, there is lot to do, particularly in terms of technical integration,” Quinn Martin, spokesperson for Micex-RTS, told Markets Media.

Bats Global Markets’ acquisition of Chi-X Europe also recently closed. The combined entity represents about a quarter of all European equities trading. In the third quarter, Chi-X Europe accounted for about 19.5% while Bats Europe represented about 5.5%.

The technology integration process is expected to last several months, to be completed by April 30 of the new year. Chi-X Europe customers in January will be receiving a guide which will outline the integration schedule, including information on the Bats hardware that will soon be powering Chi-X Europe.

Once the integration is complete, the Bats and Chi-X Europe lit and dark order books will continue be operated separately.

The acquisition of Chi-X Europe was announced earlier this year in February. It then announced in May its plans to go public in a $100 million initial public offering. Initially slated for late 2011, the IPO is now expected to occur in early 2012 as the company awaits the complete integration and closing of the Chi-X Europe acquisition. U.S. regulators in August gave approval for Bats to start listing shares, allowing the Kansas City-based trading platform to compete directly with exchange operators NYSE Euronext and Nasdaq OMX.

In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month, Bats said that it would rack up in excess of $9 million in costs in its bid for Chi-X Europe. Among them are fees to be paid to advisors, including lawyers and accountants as well as for retaining staff.

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