Trading tech firm used all over the Square Mile in £1.4 billion takeover talks

Russell Lynch
Fidessa's systems are as much a staple in dealing rooms as Reuters and Bloomberg terminals: Glenn Copus

THE firm behind software used all over the Square Mile was today targeted by a Swiss rival in a £1.4 billion takeover.

Trading software specialist Fidessa, whose systems are as much a staple of City dealing rooms as Reuters and Bloomberg terminals, is in advanced talks with Switzerland’s Temenos over an agreed deal.

Fidessa’s shares jumped 22%, or 635.5p, to 3550p on the revelation of the talks, which came after a late spike in the share price in the previous session.

Shareholders could get 3567p in cash per share as well as the rights to final and special dividends announced on Monday, bringing the total price of the potential offer to 3647p a share.

Temenos is focused on banking software, so the deal looks a complementary one.

Fidessa, which has more than 1,700 staff, has long been linked with a potential takeover. The business is highly cash generative, giving it potential appeal to a private equity buyer.

Mirabaud Securities analyst Neil Campling said he “would not be surprised” if the approach from Temenos prompted rival bids from private equity firms with billions in “dry powder” to spend. “You have opened the door for a month here,” he added.

Fidessa was set up in 1981 as Intercom Data Systems, and floated as Royalblue in 1997 with a market value of just £40 million. It changed its name again to Fidessa in 1997.

Its systems support the sell and the buy-side as well as providing trading information.

Among the big individual winners from the mooted takeover would be one of the company’s original founders, Derek Taylor. His 3% stake is valued at £42 million by the deal.