Industry Updates

Lyxor buys Commerzbank's ETF arm

Scott Longley

M&A action returned to the ETF space with a bang this week after Lyxor's parent company Societe General acquired the ETF business of German provider Commerzbank.

The deal once again catapults Lyxor back into third place in the European market behind DWS and its Xtrackers product and long-time market leader BlackRock iShares.

The sale of the ETF platform comes as part of the deal which sees SG acquire all of Commerzbank's equity and commodities divisions.

Séverin Cabannes, deputy chief executive at Societe General said the deal had a specific geographic benefit. "While complementing Lyxor's ETF franchise, this acquisition would be transformational for our activities in Germany as it would enable Societe Generale to reach a new scale in the leading Eurozone economy," he said.

"Upon integration, this transaction would bring numerous benefits to clients: the reach and geographical footprint, an extended cross-asset product set, the technology and expertise from two associated leading platforms."

The Commezbank ETF business, which runs under the name Comstage, offerers over a hundred ETF products from its domicile in Luxembourg.

Commerzbank's ETFs business Comstage offers more than 100 ETF products domiciled in Luxembourg.

News of the rumoured buyout first emerged in the German press in March. The deal is provisional depending on regulatory clearance which the firms hope will be granted in the third quarter.

According to figures from ETF consultancy ETFGI, Lyxor is buying €8.9bn of ETF funds under management and when that is added to Lyxor's current AUM of €63.9bn, it takes the total to €72.8m, just pipping the €71.2bn managed by the DWS Xtrackers business.

M&A within the ETF sector had gone quiet in the second quarter following a flurry of activity at the end of last year when ETF Securities was broken up, first via a buyout of the commodities business by WisdomTree then the sale of the rump of the business to Legal & General.

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