FXCM arranges $150 million bank loan – but why?

FXCM announced that it has entered into a new three-year revolving credit facility with BofA and other banks, allowing it to borrow up to $150 million through to the end of 2014. It should be noted that FXCM has not yet borrowed any of the money (to the best of our knowledge), nor is it obligated to borrow in the future.

The key question is why a company such as FXCM which has $178 million in cash, no debt, and generated $49 million of cash flow in the first nine months of 2011, would need to go out and arrange a loan.

We can only speculate, but clearly FXCM management is thinking ahead and planning for potential acquisition opportunities in the coming year or two. In the past year FXCM has acquired two companies in Japan (Foreland Forex and CGI Japan) for a total of $44 million, and previously acquired ODL Group in Europe, and iTrade FX. We also understand that FXCM has looked at and passed on other deals such as IBFX and Deutsche Bank’s dbFX. Arranging the facility now gives FXCM more flexibility down the road when opportunities actually arise.

For a list of Forex industry M&A and financing activity dating back to 2005, as well as transaction valuation multiples, see the LeapRate-Dow Jones Forex Industry Report for 2011.

To see complete details of the FXCM credit facility click here.

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