Nasdaq just announced a $10.5 billion deal to scoop up a behind-the-scenes tech provider for Wall Street

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Adena Friedman. Jim Spellman/Getty Images

  • Nasdaq announced plans to acquire Adenza from PE firm Thoma Bravo.
  • It’s a cash-and-stock deal valued at $10.5 billion.
  • Nasdaq has looked to add new tech solutions to its business under CEO Adena Friedman.

All across Wall Street, financial firms are looking for more consistent forms of revenue not prone to the swings of trading and dealmaking.

Nasdaq is no exception. 

The exchange operator announced plans to acquire behind-the-scenes tech provider Adenza in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $10.5 billion. 

Adenza, owned by private equity firm Thoma Bravo, provides risk management and regulatory tech for banks and brokerages. Holden Spaht, a managing partner at Thoma Bravo, will join Nasdaq’s board of directors upon completion of the deal, which is expected in the next six to nine months. 

“This is an exceptional opportunity to acquire a leading software company that enhances Nasdaq’s position at the heart of the global financial system,” Nasdaq CEO and Chair Adena Friedman said in a release announcing the acquisition. 

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While Nasdaq is perhaps best known for the tech-focused US stock market it operates, the firm has long been a provider of tech solutions to other market operators across the globe. That strategy has expanded under Friedman.

In 2021, Nasdaq acquired Verafin, an anti-financial crime management tool. Earlier this month, Friedman outlined how regulators can help banks fight financial crime, including information sharing. 

In the wake of the deal, Nasdaq’s solutions business will account for 77% of the company’s total revenue. Meanwhile, revenue from trading will represent the remaining 23%.

“From fast-evolving global regulations to rapidly increasing pressures to modernize infrastructure, our clients are seeking trusted partners equipped to support them in this challenging environment. Nasdaq aspires to be that partner every day, and with Adenza we can offer an even broader range of mission-critical solutions that enhance the liquidity, transparency, and integrity of the world’s financial system,” Freidman said of the latest acquisition.

The deal also represented a win for investment banks dealing with a year-long lull in activity. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan served as financial advisors to Nasdaq, with both firms also providing bridge financing for the deal. 

For Thoma Bravo and Adenza, Qatalyst Partners served as the lead financial advisor, along with help from Barclays, Citi, Evercore, HSBC, Jefferies, and Piper Sandler.  

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