Plus Markets to sell trading platform PLUS Trading Solutions

Plus Markets Group plc (LON:PMK), the operator of the UK exchange PLUS, said on Friday it would sell its fully-owned trading technology platform PLUS Trading Solutions Limited (PLUS-TS) to Forum Trading Solutions Limited for GBP281,251 (USD437.120/EUR346,100).

Forum Trading Solutions was established by Hirander Misra, the former co-founder and COO of Chi-X Europe, Tony Harrop, the CTO of Plus Markets Group, Richard Atkins, former chief of Trading System Management & Development at the LSE, and all eight employees of PLUS-TS.

The deal comes after Plus Markets Group agreed in May to sell equity exchange PLUS Stock Exchange plc (PLUS-SX) to British interdealer broker ICAP Plc (LON:IAP), subject to shareholders approval and clearance from the FSA regulator.

Subject to that deal being finalised, PLUS-TS would enter into a minimum nine-month term contract to offer technology platform services to Icap and continue support for PLUS-SX’s markets.

With the sale of PLUS-TS, Plus Markets Group will be able to boost its cash balances as it would remove the unit from its ongoing operating costs, it said. The group’s board called on shareholders to vote in favour of the deal at their upcoming meeting.

These moves follow an announcement from 14 May by PLUS Stock Exchange saying it would close down as it had failed to find a buyer during the formal sale process unveiled in February.

The company explained then it was seeking to secure the financial position of the PLUS exchange and the continued operations of its units PLUS Stock Exchange plc (PLUS-SX), RIE, PLUS Trading Solutions Limited (PLUS-TS), and PLUS Derivatives Exchange Limited (PLUS-DX).

Forum Trading Solutions’ managing director Tony Harrop commented on the deal today, saying that after the PLUS team was looking at a wind-down last month, this transaction ensures the best outcome for PLUS quoted companies as no change will be made to their service.

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