A Year in Review: Timeline of 2018 M&A Transactions

25 January 2019


FIA has compiled a list of 30 noteworthy transactions from 2018 related to derivatives markets in some way. Collectively, these deals reflect key trends in the global capital markets and indicate what kind of deals we might expect in the year to come.

For greater detail on the top six M&A deals of 2018, click here.


1/2 - ICE completes purchase of Bondpoint from Virtu Financial for $400 million. The deal, which was announced in October 2017, adds a corporate bond trading platform to the fixed income data services business ICE has been building since its acquisition of IDC in 2015.

1/30 - Blackstone-led consortium announces plans to buy a majority stake in the financial and risk division of Thomson Reuters for $17 billion and spin it out as a separate company renamed Refinitiv.


2/2 - ION Group agrees to acquire OpenLink Financial from private equity firm Hellman & Friedman for an undisclosed amount. OpenLink provides trading and risk management solutions with particular strength in energy and commodity trading. ION says the acquisition is "highly complementary" to ION's businesses and will expand its footprint in energy and financial services.

2/20 - S&P Global buys Panjiva, a Boston-based data science company that applies machine learning to global supply chain data, for an undisclosed amount. The company says Panjiva will be integrated into S&P Global Market Intelligence.

2/22 - Wedbush announces plans to acquire Kluis Companies, a company based in Minnesota that provides hedging solutions and market intelligence to grain producers. Wedbush made a similar deal for First Capitol Ag in 2014 and is using these acquisitions to expand its commodity futures brokerage and clearing businesses.

2/8 - Artivest, a financial technology company based in New York, announces a merger with Altegris, an alternative investment manager based in San Diego. The combined company will be one of the largest independent firms in the business of providing wealth managers and financial advisors with access to alternative investment solutions such as private equity, hedge funds and managed futures strategies.


3/6 S&P Global announces plans to buy artificial intelligence firm Kensho for $550 million. Kensho provides analytical tools and data visualization systems based on machine learning technology to investment banks and institutional investors.

3/15 - CME Group agrees to buy NEX Group for £3.9 billion ($5.4 billion) in a major cross-asset class consolidation. NEX owns the BrokerTec and EBS trading platforms as well as a suite of post-trade and regulatory reporting solutions under the NEX Optimisation brand. The deal complements CME's existing strengths in Treasury and FX futures by adding the top platforms for cash FX and Treasury securities.

3/27 Euronext completes the acquisition of the Irish Stock Exchange and rebrands it as Euronext Dublin. Euronext says the combined group is the largest market in the world for listed bonds and funds and one of the top markets for exchange-traded funds.


4/5 ICE announces plan to acquire Chicago Stock Exchange, one of the least active trading venues for U.S. equities, for an undisclosed amount. ICE says it plans to continue operating the exchange and maintain its registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but replace its technology with the Pillar system used on its equity and equity options exchanges.


5/18 IHS Markit announces plan to buy data and analytics firm Ipreo from Blackstone Group and Goldman Sachs for $1.855 billion. Ipreo provides information and technology solutions to capital markets firms and specializes in providing workflow tools and data for the capital raising process. IHS also announced its intent to divest MarkitServ, its post-trade derivatives processing business, but reversed course in September and decided to keep MarkitServ after all.

5/29 ICE announces plan to acquire TMC Bonds for $685 million, adding another corporate bond trading platform to its portfolio of fixed income businesses.

5/30 Deutsche Borse reaches agreement to purchase forex trading platform GTX from Gain Capital for $100 million and combines it with 360T, the FX trading platform it bought for $796 million in 2015. The combined business provides FX solutions to over 2,000 global clients that operate out of more than 75 countries around the world.


6/27 - London Stock Exchange Group acquires a 16% stake in AcadiaSoft for an undisclosed amount. The London-based fintech company provides margin automation and collateral management solutions for OTC derivatives. The two companies also said they will integrate LCH SwapAgent, a trade processing solution for uncleared derivatives, into AcadiaSoft's margin processing solution.

6/21 Société Générale acquires Lumo, a French fintech company, for an undisclosed amount. Lumo applies the innovation of crowdfunding to the financing of wind farms and other renewable energy projects. The company has raised more than five million euro for more than 40 projects since its launch in 2012.


7/3 Société Générale reaches agreement with Commerzbank to purchase its equity markets and commodities business. At the heart of the deal is the German bank's structured products and flow-related business, including investment products such as exchange-traded funds, as well all related sales, market-making and IT infrastructure. The French bank said the deal will bring additional customers into its derivatives business and strengthen its footprint in Germany.

7/20 State Street enters agreement to purchase Charles River Systems, a leading provider of investment management front office tools and solutions, for $2.6 billion. State Street says the deal will allow it to offer the industry's first complete "front to back" servicing platform for asset managers and asset owners.

7/31 SS&C Technologies agrees to buy investment management solutions provider Eze Software from private equity firm TPG Capital for $1.45 billion. Eze Software provides order management, execution management and portfolio accounting solutions for asset managers and hedge funds.


8/18 - Ion completes acquisition of Fidessa in transaction worth £1.5 billion (approximately $1.9 billion).


9/14 Nasdaq announces plan to acquire Swedish fintech firm Cinnober for SEK 1.7 billion ($190 million).

9/24 - Victory Capital Management, an investment firm with more than $60 billion in assets under management, buys Harvest Volatility Management, a fund manager specializing in options-based investment strategies, for $300 million. 


10/18 LSE acquires an additional 15.1% shareholding in LCH, bringing its stake in the London-based clearinghouse to more than 80%. The shares were purchased from a number of other exchange operators, including Borsa Istanbul and Nasdaq as well as major financial firms such as Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank.


11/1 - Argentina's Rosario Futures Exchange (ROFEX) and Mercado a Termino de Buenos Aires (MATba)signed a commitment to merge into a single futures exchange. MATba is among the largest agricultural futures and options exchanges in South America, specializing in products such as soybeans and grains. ROFEX is a key player in Argentine peso futures and options contracts.

11/9 Goldman Sachs makes deal to acquire software startup ClearFactr and its browser-based platform for financial modeling.

11/16 BGC Partners completes acquisition of Poten & Partners, a brokerage firm specializing in tanker and LNG brokerage. BGC says the deal will complement its existing commodities businesses and will feed Poten's price reporting and analytical products into its market data solutions.

11/7 Virtu Financial agrees to acquire ITG for $1.1 billion. ITG provides agency execution solutions and trading analytics to brokers and asset managers. Virtu says the deal is the "natural next step" in its evolution beyond proprietary trading and into serving institutional clients.


12/4 Nasdaq acquires data and analytics firm Quandl for an undisclosed amount, a move that adds another element to the range of data services it provides to institutional investors. 

12/12 INTL FCStone signs deal to acquire a U.S. fixed income brokerage business from Canada's GMP Capital. The brokerage, formerly known as Miller Tabak Roberts Securities, specializes in institutional bond trading and makes markets in certain equities. INTL FC Stone says the deal will expand the range of fixed income products it can offer clients and connects the firm to more than 2,400 additional institutional customers.

12/18 Euronext makes NOK 5.9 billion ($712 million) takeover offer for Oslo Bors after winning the support of nearly half of the Norwegian exchange's shareholders. If the deal succeeds, Euronext will operate market infrastructure in seven European countries. Since then, however, the Norwegian exchange's board of directors has received offers from other exchanges and plans to continue negotiations into February and possibly beyond.

12/19 - European Energy Exchange acquires Grexel Systems, the leading provider of renewable energy certificates in Europe. The Finnish company plays a key role in tracking renewable energy sources and will complement the exchange's carbon futures market and other renewable energy initiatives.

12/20 - Marex Spectron announces plans to acquire the customer business of Rosenthal Collins Group, one of Chicago's oldest futures brokerages, expanding its presence in the U.S. commodity futures markets.

12/20 Euronext acquires 78% of Commcise for £27 million. Commcise offers a cloud-based "software as a service" platform for commission management, research evaluation and accounting solution targeting asset managers, brokers and independent research providers.


Did we miss a deal that is noteworthy? If so, contact Will Acworth at to let us know.

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