Euronext CEO Stéphane Boujnah has hinted the exchange is considering a move to acquire Euroclear.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Boujnah said Euronext is watching the securities settlement and asset servicing business with “a lot of interest” adding Euroclear would be a “natural fit” as it looks to increase its footprint in the European market.
Euronext currently has a 3.34% stake in Euroclear, making it the company’s eighth-largest shareholder.
Furthermore, Boujnah said additional opportunities in the Nordics region were being considered following its acquisition of Danish Central Securities Depository, VP Securities, in 2020.
According to Bloomberg, Euronext currently has an acquisitions war chest of $1.1bn in cash but may seek additional resources from shareholders should a potential deal materialise.
For now, Boujnah said his firm’s focus remains on reducing debt and assimilating the Borsa Italiana, which it acquired from the London Stock Exchange at the end of April for €4.4bn.
As part of this, the firm’s 2024 strategic plan revealed its intention to move all of its equities and derivatives clearing from LCH to the new Italian central counterparty (CCP), helping it to reduce its reliance on LSE post-Brexit.
Irrespective of further acquisitions, Euronext also plans to bring its four central securities depositories brands – Euronext VPS in Norway, VP Securities in Denmark, Interbolsa in Portugal and Monte Titoli in Italy – under one roof called Euronext Securities, with €6.3trn assets under custody.