NASDAQ to buy Aussie market monitors

Sydney-based market surveillance company SMARTS Group is to be acquired by US-based NASDAQ OMX Group after a takeover deal was signed yesterday.

Sydney-based market surveillance company SMARTS Group is to be acquired by US-based NASDAQ OMX Group after a takeover deal was signed yesterday.

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NASDAQ OMX is set to consume Sydney-based SMARTS Group in a new takeover deal. (Credit: SMARTS Group)

The new deal will see NASDAQ OMX acquire 100 per cent of SMARTS' stock. The two companies expect to complete the transaction by the end of September this year.

Financial details surrounding the takeover deal were not released at the time of publication, with SMARTS Group CEO Dr Andreas Furche declining to provide a ballpark figure.

Furche told ZDNet Australia that the SMARTS Group board had been deliberating for several months with various future investment strategies. The board finally came to an agreement that the NASDAQ OMX deal was in the company's best interests.

SMARTS Group deploys stock market surveillance software, which attempts to regulate financial transactions. It currently supplies its software platform to the London, SIX Swiss, Helsinki, Stockholm and Australian stock exchanges, with other clearing houses and commodity markets signed on as major clients.

NASDAQ OMX is a joint venture between the owners of the US stock market of the same name and European OMX, which controls seven Nordic and Baltic stock exchanges. NASDAQ OMX now operates as one of the largest technology providers to the world's stock exchanges.

The NASDAQ/OMX merger was completed in February 2008 and had a price tag of US$3.7 billion.

SMARTS Group will fall under the NASDAQ OMX technology banner, which already provides technology to over 70 exchanges across six continents. NASDAQ OMX's total global business has been valued at over US$4.5 trillion.

NASDAQ OMX intends to incorporate the SMARTS Group surveillance platform into its existing suite of products. SMARTS Group will still be able offer the platform to other businesses trading under its own name out of its Sydney office. Furche said the company expected to keep all its staff.

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