Forex (FX), an Australian financial services company and currency exchange service, and Contracts for Difference (CFD) trading provider Axicorp are acquiring One Financial Markets (OFM), based in the United Kingdom.
The deal is predominantly cash-based and will be subject to customary regulatory approvals.
"We established AxiCorp a decade ago to provide Australian FX and CFD traders with a home-grown option. Our clients now span the globe, so we see the acquisition of a London-based competitor as a milestone both for us and the industry as a whole," said Rajesh Yohannan, AxiCorp's Chief Executive.
Founded in 2007, AxiCorp is a global online trading platform for FX, CFDs, Commodities and other financial instruments. It now ranks among the top trading companies in the world with presence in Australia, the UK, Middle East and Asia.
The deal is a result of more than 12 months of talks between the two companies. The move also comes amid anticipation of further consolidation in the global CFD and FX industry due to upcoming regulatory changes.
The acquisition will strengthen AxiCorp's foothold in a number of key markets including the UK, Middle East and Asia. The combined operation will deliver an estimated US$ 2 trillion annual trading volume and cement the company's position among the top 10 CFD and FX providers globally.
Under the deal, AxiCorp will acquire all the staff, operations and licenses of OFM. AxiCorp will retain the OFM brand, which has strong presence in the Middle East, Europe, South America and Central and South East Asia.
OFM brings with it a reputation as one of the pioneers in FX trading in the Middle East, with a track record of more than 10 years operating in the region.
The deal will also see majority shareholder and founder, Khalifa Butti Bin Omeir, the Chairman of diversified investment group KBBO Group, take an equity stake in AxiCorp.
Ashley Clarke, Chief Executive Officer at One Financial Markets (OFM) said: "After building the OFM brand and network in several key markets, this (acquisition) is a great opportunity to get to the next level of growth. And it's a privilege that we will be part of the global AxiCorp family as we pursue other markets."
He added: "Given AxiCorp's focus on continued growth and expansion, we look forward to a stronger presence in the FX and CFD markets."
Sydney-based AxiCorp has been expanding its global footprint since Yohannan took the CEO role more than two years ago. The company had also secured significant strategic investment from private equity firm RGT Capital.
Based on some recent industry reports, Axicorp has experienced higher revenue and EBITDA CAGR growth in the last 2 years than many of the largest publicly listed companies in the FX and CFD sector.
"We have laid a solid and strategic foundation for global growth in recent years and we're now delivering against this plan. Expansion will be fuelled by a combination of product development and acquisitions across the industry" Yohannan added.
"Overall demand for forex products is still rising, helped by market volatility and popularity of the product in emerging markets," Yohannan said. "But with new regulations coming into force this year, we believe consolidation will remain a key theme and expect to have the opportunity to make further strategic acquisition in due course."