European multilateral trading facility (MTF) Turquoise has appointed UBS, one of its nine investment bank founder members, to find a potential buyer for its business, a spokesperson for the company confirmed.
Sale documents were sent out to 18 suitors including exchange groups the London Stock Exchange, Deutsche Börse, NYSE Euronext and Nasdaq OMX, according to Bloomberg reports. Chi-X Global, which operates rival MTF Chi-X Europe, is also rumoured to be among the suitors.
Turquoise went live in September 2008 and has since picked up a 6.06% Europe-wide market share – including an 8.96% of FTSE 100 stocks – according the latest figures from the Fidessa Fragmentation Index, a weekly analysis of where European liquidity is traded.
The move is seen as a sign that a wave of consolidation in the MTF space is imminent. Turquoise is believed to have completed another round of funding from its member banks in June, the same month that Chi-X Europe started its third ‘jump ball’ scheme, which allows members to take an equity stake in the MTF. Citadel Securities, the market making and trade execution division of Citadel Investment Group, took a stake in Equiduct Trading, a pan-European alternative trading venue launched in March by Börse Berlin, at the end of July.