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Aquis Exchange PLC

("Aquis", the "Company" or the "Group")

Acquisition of NEX Exchange

Aquis Exchange PLC (AIM: AQX), the exchange services group that operates pan-European cash equities trading businesses and develops and licenses exchange software to third parties, is pleased to announce that it has agreed to acquire NEX Exchange Limited ("NEX Exchange") from CME Group Inc. (the "Acquisition") for a cash consideration of £1, plus approximately £2.7 million based on NEX Exchange's current working capital levels.

NEX Exchange, the UK based stock market for growth enterprises, is one of only four equities-focused Recognised Investment Exchanges (RIEs) in the UK. It works with 51 registered brokers, 7 market makers and 89 companies currently listed on its two markets with a combined market capitalisation of approximately £1.9 billion. 

This Acquisition is another step in Aquis' ambition to become the leading exchange services group in Europe and provides a unique opportunity to acquire an RIE business with a focus on primary markets in a cost and time effective manner. Underpinned by the Group's proven technology and a track record of transparency and innovation, the Board believes that with Aquis' experience in both building new businesses in the exchange industry and also increasing liquidity, it has the ability to transform NEX Exchange at a time when MiFID II implications and other factors make the industry ripe for innovation. The Board believes that the Acquisition provides a unique opportunity to build a pan-European, technology-driven, listing exchange for growth companies.

Based on the audited financial accounts for the year ended 31 March 2018, NEX Exchange delivered revenues of £1.51m and a loss before tax of £2.05m. The Company believes that significant cost savings can be delivered in the short term, significantly reducing the loss in the initial period following the Acquisition.

Completion of the Acquisition is expected this autumn, subject to FCA approval. The Company will update the market upon receipt of FCA approval and completion.

Alasdair Haynes, Chief Executive Officer of Aquis, commented:

"Our stated aim is to become the leading technology-driven exchange services group, and this acquisition is a milestone towards delivering this vision. We have a successful blueprint of proven technology and are confident that we can not only deliver growth but we can also positively address the current issues in small and mid-cap trading. We have the capability, capacity and ambition to drive further shareholder value through this transaction."

Ken Vroman, Senior Managing Director, Cash Markets and Optimization Services, CME Group, commented:

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Aquis Exchange to acquire NEX Exchange from CME Group. There are natural synergies between the two companies, and we believe Aquis is well positioned to take NEX Exchange to the next level of its growth."

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014 (MAR).

A video for this announcement can be viewed here.

Enquiries:

Aquis Exchange PLC

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3597 6321

Alasdair Haynes, CEO

Jonathan Clelland, CFO and COO

 

Belinda Keheyan, Head of Marketing

Tel: +44 (0) 7768 078110

   

Liberum Capital Limited (Nominated Adviser and Broker)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3100 2000

Clayton Bush

Chris Clarke
Edward Thomas

Kane Collings

 
   

Alma PR (Financial PR Adviser)

Tel: +44 (0)20 3405 0209

Rebecca Sanders-Hewett

Caroline Forde

Susie Hudson

aquis@almapr.co.uk

 

About Aquis Exchange

Aquis Exchange PLC is an exchange services group, which operates a pan-European cash equities trading business (Aquis Exchange) and develops and licenses exchange software to third parties (Aquis Technologies).

Aquis Exchange PLC (AQX.L) is quoted on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market (AIM).