DUBLIN (Reuters) - Euronext <ENX.PA> said on Wednesday it was buying 100 percent of the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) for 137 million euros (£121.09 million) - a deal aimed at boosting the pan-European exchange's position in debt and fund listings.
The announcement comes as Ireland, traditionally heavily dependent on its links to its neighbour the United Kingdom, bids to deepen financial and trade ties with fellow EU members in the wake of Brexit.
It will also boost Euronext efforts to compete with bigger rivals, London Stock Exchange Group (LSE.L) and Deutsche Boerse (DB1Gn.DE).
"The acquisition of ISE by Euronext, combined with Ireland’s very competitive economic environment, will further strengthen Ireland’s position as a strong European anchor to take advantage of Brexit opportunities," Euronext said in a statement.
The chief executive of the Irish Stock Exchange, Deirdre Somers, said the deal would give it the technology, brand and financial strength it needs to grow.
The Irish financial institutions which own ISE - J&E Davy, Goodbody Stockbrokers, Investec Capital & Investments, Cantor Fitzgerald and Campbell O’Connor - have all committed to sell their shares, Euronext said.
The deal makes Ireland the sixth European country in which Euronext operates, joining Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and the UK.
Euronext said it expects the deal to create annual operating cost synergies of 6 million euros, to be fully delivered in 2020, driven in part by migration to Euronext's Optiq trading platform.
The company also said it intends to make ISE a centre for the listing of debt, funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
ISE Chief Executive Deirdre Somers will join Euronext’s Managing Board, taking responsibility for Debt, Funds & ETF listings.
ISE Chairman Padraic O’Connor will join Euronext’s Supervisory Board.
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, Euronext said.
(Reporting by Alan Charlish; Additional reporting by Conor P. Humphries; Editing by Edmund Blair and Andrew Heavens)