Global technology investment firm, Silver Lake has agreed to acquire Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) 9.85% stake in Euroclear Holding SA for €709 million.
Silver Lake’s acquisition of ICE’s stake in Euroclear is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval, following which it is expected to gain a seat on the Board of the Brussels-headquartered global market infrastructure.
The transaction could close as soon as the first half of 2022.
ICE increased its stake in February 2018, sparking discussion over its intentions as its chief executive, Jeff Sprecher, said the two groups could work together to explore new opportunities in Europe’s custody market. “We really feel like we can do things with it [custody], together with that company to both help us and the ICE shareholders and help Euroclear,” said Sprecher back in 2018.
ICE had previously used Euroclear as its CSD for its UK and European operations, however in 2017 – following the UK referendum to leave the EU – ICE decided to acquire a stake to maintain a foothold in mainland Europe’s post-trade market.
“Euroclear will have an outstanding long-term partner and shareholder in Silver Lake with its deep knowledge and experience in financial and technology investments,” said Sprecher. He added that, “We have great respect for Euroclear and its leadership team, have seen the critical services and sustainable infrastructure it provides to our industry, and it has been a successful investment for ICE.”
The Silver Lake stake represents the second largest shareholding of Euroclear, while the London Stock Exchange also owns just shy of 5%.
“We are thrilled to become a shareholder of Euroclear,” said Christian Lucas, co-head of Silver Lake EMEA. “We have been highly impressed by the company’s achievements over the years, continuously strengthening Euroclear’s positioning as a global leader in vital post-trade, collateral management, fund management and data services as well as the company’s crucial importance overall to the efficient functioning of financial markets in Europe and around the world. As a leading technology investor, we look forward to contributing to Euroclear’s future growth, which is more than ever driven by innovation.”