Is Deutsche Börse the natural fit to buy Forex platform 360T?

Deutsche Boerse AG (ETR:DB1) is looking at the possibility of buying currency trading platform 360T, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters’ Patrick Graham on Monday. Deutsche Boerse declined to comment on whether it was bidding. 360T, one of many multi-bank, multi-user platforms which have “electronified” FX trading over the past decade, was also not available for comment.

If Deutsche Boerse does indeed make a binding bid for the trading company it would represent new frontiers and a move into OTC market segments with Forex as a specialization. “Deutsche Boerse group regularly looks at external options for growth and follows up on them if they create value,” a spokesman for Deutsche Boerse was quoted as saying.

summitparnetsLast week, we covered here on LeapRate that U.S. private-equity firm Summit Partners was looking at selling the German based currency platform in a potential 600 million euro ($675 million) deal and had hired Jefferies to handle the sale.

When Summit Partners (the largest shareholder in 360T Group) closed on it’s stake in the trading platform back in 2012, Scott Collins, a Managing Director of Summit Partners stated: “We are committed to supporting 360T’s growth strategy both in FX and other adjacent financial markets, and we welcome the company’s employees retaining a significant stake as part of the transaction.”

Deutsche Boerse’s new Chief Executive Carsten Kengeter, a natural German speaker who took the helm June 1st, 2014 has said he would not rule out acquisitions as the exchange reviews its business. 360T is particularly popular within the German-speaking financial world but has a steadfast global business.

According to the Reuters sources discussions may already be at an advanced stage, and a deal may be struck before summer ends. However, the article declined to give details of exactly which additional institutions were interested. Although it is speculated that besides Deutsche Boerse, the other major exchange groups looking at the currency platform could include CME and Nasdaq. All operators have positioned themselves to take an expanded role in OTC market segments in recent years, as we just witnessed when BATS Global Markets bought Forex ECN Hotspot from KCG earlier this year. CME declined to comment on whether it was interested in 360T. A Nasdaq spokesman also declined any comment.

If more OTC and spot instruments in the $5 trillion a day FX market eventually need to make their way to some type of cleared venue these mega exchange operators already have the infrastructure in place. So is Deutsche Boerse, more so than any other exchange on the rumored short list in the best position to acquire the German based Forex platform?

The 360T network is used by over 1700 buy side client organizations worldwide, including global and regional corporate treasuries alongside several hundred commercial and private banks and major asset managers. White Label and In-House trading solutions provided by 360T have been adopted by major international companies to link request and transaction flow via a central treasury or through a central trading desk. 360T has a global presence with customers in more than 90 countries and offices in Europe, America, Asia-Pacific, India and the Middle East.

Founded by CEO Carlo Kölzer and Mathew Kuppe in 2000, 360T provides web-based trading technology for OTC financial instruments, particularly currency exchange, short-term money market loan/deposits and interest rate derivatives. 360T´s secure, smart global transaction network enables clients to trade with greater transparency and enhanced control at every stage of the trading lifecycle.

For the Remuneration Report FY 2014 (German, PDF) click here.

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