UK stock exchange PLUS Markets Group walked away from reverse takeover talks with Project Turquoise on Friday after the firms failed to strike an agreement over how to develop the technology for the proposed combined entity. Although PLUS did not name the third party with which it terminated discussions, theTRADEnews understands it was Turquoise. PLUS’ reservations about the takeover are believed to be serious.
Like PLUS, Turquoise - the multilateral trading facility being developed by a consortium of seven of the world’s biggest investment banks - is positioning itself as a competitor to the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
PLUS announced on 5 October that it had entered a ‘non-binding heads-of-terms agreement’ for a reverse takeover with an unnamed third party and requested the suspension of trading in PLUS’ ordinary shares on the LSE’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM).
“Following continuing detailed discussions, the board has concluded that the transaction as envisaged would not deliver sufficient benefits to all of the company’s existing shareholders,” PLUS said in a statement. “Accordingly, discussions with the third party have been terminated and the company has today requested that its ordinary shares be restored to trading on AIM.”
Despite the breakdown of the talks between PLUS and Turquoise, it is possible they could be resumed at a later stage, although there are no plans to do so yet.
The termination of the talks will not halt PLUS’ other plans. The exchange is in the process of implementing a £6.7 million trading and market surveillance platform from Nordic exchange operator OMX, which will be operational in early November. The new platform will take PLUS’s stock coverage to over 7,500 securities, including European liquid shares.