As part of its drive to expand its investment management activities - one of
its three core businesses - the Dexia group, through its subsidiary Dexia Banque
Internationale à Luxembourg (Dexia BIL), announces its intention to acquire,
after carrying out due diligence in February 2001, full ownership of the Paris-based
group, Financière Opale.
The Financière Opale group is made up of several companies led by ODB Equities.
ODB Equities acts as an intermediary for equities and derivatives products
on behalf of institutional investors and also provides investment research and
analysis services. With a 20% market share in equity option transactions and
15% market share in index options, ODB Equities is currently one of the leading
players in the derivatives market in France. In Europe, the company is the leading
market maker in Eurostoxx options with a 25% market share last year.
The group"s COB-certified fund management company, Yves Mahé & Associés, is
specialised in asset management for high-end private customers.
ODB Invest Conseil acts as an intermediary on behalf of private customers.
It provides a new kind of online advisory service to a clientele that requires
high quality advice and professional execution. Fundamentally different from
an online discount broker, it sells added value services based on repackaged
ODB Equities research.
The Financière Opale group has about 120 employees with expertise in each of
the group"s areas of business. Through this acquisition, it will gain additional
skills in derivatives and stockmarket trading. In turn Dexia"s drive to develop
online investment advisory services will be strengthened by the Financière Opale
group"s experience and range of services.
The operation will be finalised during the second quarter of 2001. Operations
will continue without interruption during the integration process and all of
the Financière Opale group"s personnel will be retained.
This new acquisition is subject to the approval of the competent supervisory
authorities and Dexia BIL"s Board of Directors.