Bond trading platform Vega-Chi sold to US institutional trading giant

London-based firm’s sale comes three years after Octopus investment

Global institutional trading network Liquidnet today announced it is set to acquired bond trading platform Vega-Chi, in a move representing a successful exit for the London-based company.

The deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, will see Liquidnet enter the fixed income market through Vega-Chi’s offering.

Founded in 2009 by chief executive Constantinos Antoniades, Vega-Chi is a trading platform which claims to have launched the first multilateral convertible bonds trading facility in Europe alongside high yield electronic trading platforms in the US and Europe.

The business aims to challenge the ‘over-the-counter’ model of bond trading in which securities are exchanged directly between two parties without the need for an exchange.

Backed by tech-focused venture capital firm Octopus Investments in February 2011, the business currently has more than 150 firms using its service, with a total order value of $73bn facilitated through its platforms.

The Liquidnet sale represents a successful exit for the firm and its founder, and will see the US-based firm add Vega-Chi’s bond trading expertise to its own offering, although the two will continue to operate as separate ventures initially.

Founded in 2001, Liquidnet is one of the world’s largest institutional trading networks for asset managers, operating across 42 markets with clients collectively worth $13tn.

Constantinos Antoniades, chief executive of Vega-Chi, said: “We launched Vega-Chi to enable our clients to access better liquidity and achieve best prices in an anonymous, secure and conflict-of-interest-free marketplace – and we were lucky to find a venture capital partner who shared our vision.

“It’s been a busy three years since Octopus invested in us and our success to date is in large part down to its hands on support over the years. By partnering with Liquidnet, we can now push our goal further, and look forward to taking an industry-wide solution to the global market.”

Jo Oliver, a member of the ventures team at Octopus, commented on the sale: “When we met Constantinos and his team in 2011, it was clear this was a business with global ambitions, led by a compelling and impressive entrepreneur.

“It is a pleasure to see how Vega-Chi has developed and grown since then to become a world leader, transforming and dominating its industry.”

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