SMTS HFS acquisition approved by FINMA

CPT Trading Technologies has been splashing the cash lately and flexing it’s muscles, having been making several acquisition offers across Europe. Today, one deal has been approved by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) – the acquisition of UK trading firm SMTS HFS. The approval comes just months after the offer had been accepted by the selling company. The package includes a large client-base and millions of pounds of assets and, perhaps most importantly, the SMTS HFS Portal, which is used around the world. The acquisition will also make CPT one of the biggest online brokerage firms in Europe.

Though the acquisition is set to complete early next year, it is clear that the acquisition procedure will continue ongoing for months to come, facing several obstacles, foreseen and new. Though the sale has been approved by Swiss institutions, the necessary regulatory approvals have not been granted in the UK.

Both CPT and SMTS HFS must ensure all clients are fairly and lawfully transferred to the buying company. CPT will additionally have to adjust to UK rules in order to continue business in the UK.

Of course, both the Swiss financial regulator and the UK’s equivalents must approve the deal in their respective jurisdictions. British regulators are taking their time to appraise the deal properly, due to the welcoming of a foreign firm acquiring many private individual clients. The wait threatens to postpone the acquisition, which could mean that SMTS HFS would have to cease trading altogether in the time between the planned sale and the actual date.

Even though it’s unlikely the deal will take longer to finalise, the issue will pose large problems to both parties involved. The value of SMTS HFS will plummet. CPT does, however, have the opportunity to pull out (the deal won’t be final until after the sale has been fully approved). At this time the acquisition is expected to conclude in January of next year.

CPT Trading Technologies’ board of directors have stated: “We have been assured that a decision will be reached before the end of the year. We are confident the deal will be approved as we have examined it thoroughly and see no issues, it’s just regulations and the process, it takes some time. We are extremely excited to acquire SMTS HFS and expand further yet into the UK market”.

Is there something else you want to know? Are you/will you be affected by the acquisition? Let us know in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from any clients of either company.


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