UBS analysts back London Stock Exchange Group to buy Euroclear

London Stock Exchange

Analysts at UBS are backing the London Stock Exchange Group to acquire “hidden jewel” settlement house Euroclear.

In a 35-page note, they estimated that the group would need to pay around €6.7bn (£6.1bn) to land the firm.

In a note out today, analysts Michael Werner and Alex Leng also suggested the acquisition would be a blow to Deutsche Boerse, which owns Clearstream, Euroclear’s main competitor.

The stock exchange has previously said it could be interested in operating an international central securities depositor (ICSD).

And, following the breakdown of its mega-merger with Deutsche Boerse, bosses also indicated they would be on the lookout for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) opportunities.

The paper, in part a response to speculation over a deal, noted that the London Stock Exchange Group has “established an excellent track record in M&A deals” under chief executive Xavier Rolet.

“Over the past five years, LSE has implemented an acquisition and diversification strategy that has been best-in-class amongst its European exchange peers,” they said.

“The acquisitions of LCH.Clearnet in 2013 and Russell Investments in 2014 played an important role in the positive re-rating of LSE shares since 2012.”

They added that the market expects the London Stock Exchange Group to continue making acquisitions but that opportunities may now be harder to come by with “many other exchanges… looking to expand into similar areas of the market”.

The analysts added: “This begs the questions, are there any more hidden jewels like LCH or Russell Investments remaining for LSE to acquire?

“With a number of other exchanges attempting to adopt LSE’s acquisition strategy, we believe there are not many attractive transformational opportunities in the index or clearing house space.”

They concluded that an acquisition of Euroclear would provide a nine to 10 per cent boost to the stock exchange’s earnings.

Read more: LSE launches new clearing service to improve efficiency and reduce risk

Full story: UBS analysts back London Stock Exchange Group to buy this "hidden jewel": City A.M.

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