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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Goodfellas Part 3: eSpeed thwarts Tulletts

The saga surrounding Tullett Prebon’s unsolicited and unwelcome approach to buy eSpeed took what for many was an unexpected twist this week.

Terry Smith’s ambition appears to have been completely thwarted following the decision by Cantor Fitzgerald, eSpeed’s effective parent, to merge the trading technology vendor with its other, mainly voice broking subsidiary BGC.

Goodfellas Part 2

“Dat showed dat Terry Smith, the f&*kin’ clown,” you could almost hear the management of Cantors/BGC/eSpeed saying.

What made the news surprising to many was that BGC had filed for an IPO. So, at face value, it seems that Howard Lutnick, who is basically the boss of all three companies, has been forced into making the move merely to see off Tulletts.

In a press release full of the normal good noises – note that there was no swearing in it either – Lutnick said: “We are extremely proud of each of these two companies and their strong positions in the marketplace. By combining these considerable strengths, we will achieve improved operating efficiencies and strengthen our market position, serving the best long-term interests of eSpeed’s stockholders, both companies’ customers and BGC’s employee-owners.”

“The strategic rationale for combining BGC and eSpeed is compelling,” chipped in Lee Amaitis, chairman and chief executive officer of BGC and vice chairman of eSpeed.

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