LONDON: Buyout firm CVC Capital Partners and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte are among firms considering bids for a stake in the US$6.4bil European settlements giant Euroclear, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Brussels-based company, which counts London Stock Exchange Group Plc as a shareholder, is planning to decide in the coming days whether to pursue a stake sale or an initial public offering of the business, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.
Some of the existing owners are willing to offload up to 40% of the business in a sale or IPO, the people said. The company is also open to selling smaller stakes of about 5% to 15% at a time to individual bidders, they said.
No final decisions have been taken and the talks may not result in a deal, the people said. Representatives for Euroclear, CVC and GIC declined to comment.
Euroclear hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to find ways for some shareholders to cash out of the business either through an IPO or stake sale, chief executive officer Lieve Mostrey told shareholders in March.
Intercontinental Exchange Inc has built a 10% stake in the company, while LSE bought a 4.9% holding in January. LSE’s €278.5mil investment valued Euroclear at about US$6.4bil, according to a company filing at the time.
If Euroclear decides to pursue a listing, it will be one of the largest initial offerings from a financial services provider in Europe this year.
The company is an essential piece of market infrastructure, providing a platform to deliver securities to buyers and payments to sellers when stocks or other financial assets are traded. It holds €29.6 trillion in assets and settles more than €791 trillion in securities transactions each year, according to its website.
Fifty-year-old Euroclear has historically been majority owned by banks. It has about 115 shareholders, the largest of which is Sicovam Holding, and the 20 biggest investors hold about 65% of the company’s shares. Euroclear moved its holding company from London to Brussels in response to Brexit. — Bloomberg
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