UK competition authority probes Fidessa takeover

Investigation by Competition and Markets Authority into ION Investment Group’s acquisition of Fidessa could delay the deal.  

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said it is investigating the anticipated acquisition of Fidessa by ION Investment Group.

An inquiry into the proposed merger was launched on 18 June, examining whether the acquisition could lead to the substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the UK, the CMA said.

The regulator has invited industry comment and plans to announce its decision whether to further its investigation in August. However, Ion’s takeover of Fidessa was expected to close around the same time, meaning it could be significantly delayed.

Fidessa agreed to terms of a £1.5 billion all cash offer by ION Investment Group’s ION Bidco subsidiary in April, which saw its earlier recommended acquisition by Temenos overturned.

ION offered Fidessa’s shareholders £39.50 per share, including in aggregate £38.70 per share and a 79.7p dividend paid in June, 8.5% higher than the £35.67 bid offered by Temenos in February.

Shortly after Fidessa initially accepted the offer by Temenos, it announced that other companies had come forward with rival bids, including ION and SS&C Technologies. By the end of April, the bidders were handed a final deadline by the UK Takeover Panel to make official offers for Fidessa, before the firm finally accepted the offer from ION.

ION said in a statement confirming its successful bid for Fidessa at the time that the firm represents an “attractive opportunity” to invest in a well-established business with strong equities and derivatives trading services.

“Fidessa’s leading position in equities and derivatives trading solutions complement our fixed income and FX capabilities and will enable us to serve our customers more effectively across all asset classes and accelerate innovation,” Andrea Pignataro, CEO of ION, said.