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ECNs: FXall set for partial sale to private equity buyer

The sale of Hotspot has prompted a torrent of speculation about the future of other ECNs. But it seems the rumours about new owners for FXall are true.

FXall, the leading electronic platform in the foreign exchange market, is set for a new ownership structure. Euromoney has learnt that the ECN’s owners, a consortium of leading FX banks, are locked in discussions about a possible sale of up to 30% of the company to a private equity buyer.

Goldman Sachs has been appointed to run the books on the sale. Two counterparties – both private equity firms – are bidding for the stake.

Bankers involved in discussions about the deal say its completion is some way off. A debate surrounds the amount of stock the bank owners are prepared to unload. Most are in favour of a sale of between 25% and 30% on a pro rata basis, although Euromoney understands that a small number of banks would like to see a complete sale of FXall.

Not so hot

Discussions have apparently been slowed by the recent sale of Hotspot. That deal failed to realize for its previous owners the valuation that most in the market had expected, leading the bank owners of FXall to revise their expectations.

Fxall, Goldman Sachs and banks involved in FXall all declined to comment. But the proposed sale is the most concrete of a host of rumours sweeping the eFX market – a space that even in the quietest month is full of gossip is about matters such as who is supposedly buying whom, who is shutting down, whose technology is good and whose is bad.

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