A breakthrough in talks will see the Irish Stock Exchange demutualise, with the country's main stockbrokers including Davy, NCB, Goodbody and Dolmen receiving shares in the €56m-valued exchange and dividing up €26m in excess cash. The exchange, set up in 1793, is one of the oldest in the world.
Sources have said the process is "at an advanced stage" and is expected to be completed by early summer. Each of the six stockbroking firms who are members of the exchange will receive a stake in it commensurate with their size and trading levels. It is thought the exchange is worth somewhere north of €56m.
There are deep divisions between the stockbroking firms over the future of the exchange, which has been hit hard by the defection of CRH, Greencore and United Drug to UK stockmarkets. Sources have told the Sunday independent that some members see their shareholdings as valuable assets that could be sold off while other brokers are keen to see the exchange remain in Irish hands.
There has been a massive swathe of consolidation among stockmarkets in recent years. Just before Christmas, the New York exchange was sold to the ICE [Intercontinental Exchange], having previously tried to merge with Germany's Deutsche Boerse. Last year, the London Stock Exchange spent €463m to take control of LCH Clearnet.