Inter-dealer broker ICAP has agreed to acquire junior stock exchange PLUS-SX for £1.
The deal, which has been completed on a cash-free, debt-free basis, follows an announcement earlier this week by PLUS-SX’s parent, PLUS Markets Group, of its intention to wind down after several years of losses.
If the deal is approved by shareholders, it will offer a home to the 156 companies quoted on the market, which include football club Arsenal and Stieg Larsson publisher Quercus.
The transaction is subject to no insolvency proceedings having been started in relation to PLUS-SX. If the deal is not completed, PLUS-SX will be wound down as previously planned.
Unaudited accounts for the period to 30 June 2011 show losses of just over £1 million attributable to PLUS-SX. For the year to December 2010, losses were almost £5.7 million.
Malcolm Basing, interim chairman of PLUS Markets Group, says the deal is ‘the best option for our shareholders and secures the future of the PLUS-quoted market’.
The two other subsidiaries of PLUS, trading platform provider PLUS-TS and derivatives exchange PLUS-DX, are still up for sale.