N2N Connect buys financial data firm from Reuters and Systex for RM85.3m

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 12): N2N Connect Bhd is proposing to acquire AFE Solutions Ltd from Reuters International Holding S.A.R.L and Systex Capital Group Inc for US$20.6 million cash (RM85.3 million).

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia today, N2N said the proposal will entail acquisition of 21.73 million shares in AFE for an initial purchase consideration of US$20.6 million, to be satisfied entirely in cash.

Meanwhile, the vendors, Reuters International and Systex Capital, would sell the 49% equity stake held by AFE in Bisnews AFE (Thailand) Ltd (BATL). As such, upon completion of the proposed acquisition, BATL shall cease to be part of the business operations of AFE.

AFE is a financial data and trading solutions provider with regional presence in Hong Kong, Macau and Vietnam. Reuters owns 51% of AFE, while Systex owns the remaining 49%.

The AFE Group’s financial data and trading solutions business entails providing online stock market information, on-line securities trading systems, business solutions and associated sales.

Its customers include, among others, stock brokerage firms, commercial banks, asset management firms and retail investors.

Reuters SARL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Thomson Reuters — the world’s leading source of news and information for professional markets, with business operations in more than 100 countries, for more than 100 years.

Systex is an investment holding company wholly-owned by Systex Corporation, whose shares are listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

The core business of N2N is in provision of trading and analytics solutions, mainly to local stock broking firms and banks.

Through the acquisition of AFE, the company is able to leverage on AFE’s expertise in information solutions, as well as its customer base of brokerage firms and international and regional banks, in order to complement its existing business and expand into new markets.

The application to the relevant authorities in relation to the proposed acquisition will be made within two months from today.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, and subject to required approvals being obtained, the proposed acquisition is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2017.

N2N shares were up 2.5 sen (3.1%) at 82.5 sen today, for a market capitalisation of RM387.49 million.