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Trading Newsflashes: Liquidnet Sells Minority Stake for $250 Million

Liquidnet Sells Minority Stake for $250 Million; Instinet Europe Partners With Orc Software to Expand Direct-Access Biz; Tamesis Integrates Markit Data Into Credit Trading Platform; Patsystems Lands Contract With Tokyo Grain Exchange; CBOE Picks etvMEDIA to Provide Streaming Video

Liquidnet, the electronic marketplace for institutional block trading, sold a minority stake in the company last week for $250 million to two private equity firms.

The deal reportedly allowed Liquidnet's early investors, including TH Lee Putnam Ventures and Michael Price, to cash out a portion of their original investment.

Summit Partners, a leading private equity and venture capital firm with $5.5 billion in capital under management, and Technology Crossover Ventures, a leading private equity investor in technology companies with more than $3.3 billion, led the cofinancing.

"The transaction represents the largest private equity investment in a financial services or financial technology company -- and the 11th largest in any sector -- in the last 25 years since historical data was kept on the private equity sector," states Steven McLaughlin, managing partner of Financial Technology Partners, in a release announcing his firm's advisory role.

Financial Technology Partners and FTP Securities (together known as FT Partners) advised Liquidnet Holdings on the $250 million private equity financing.

--Instinet Europe Partners With Orc Software to Expand Direct-Access Biz

Instinet's global electronic trading services are now accessible to clients of Orc Software's trading network, according to an announcement by Instinet Europe and the Swiss developer of advanced trading technology.

Instinet -- the institutional broker that provides fast, anonymous and direct-market access to almost 30 global equity markets -- is now connected to OrcExNet and Instinet's trading functionality has been integrated into various OrcNet front ends.

"This agreement is part of Instinet's strategy to grow its direct-market-access business," states Steve Harris, head of direct-market access for Instinet Europe, in the release. The partnership includes access to Instinet's SmartRouter technology, which is designed to pursue best execution across multiple trading venues, continued Harris. "Orc Software has a significant client base that can now benefit from Instinet's unbiased and efficient access to new markets around the globe without having to invest in additional front ends," stated Harris in the release.

Orc Software clients can now use the Orc front ends to trade on European and cash markets via Instinet. Orc, a publicly traded company based in Stockholm, provides technology for advanced market making, trading and brokerage. Its software is used in more than 21 countries and allows users to access more than 90 markets.

-Tamesis Integrates Markit Data Into Credit Trading Platform

Tamesis, a provider of credit-derivatives trading and risk-management solutions, has integrated Markit Data and Markit Reference Entity Database (RED) into its Credit Trader platform, the company announced on Wednesday. This will provide customers with a leading industry source for independent asset valuation data used by global financial institutions for price verification and risk-management purposes.

Markit Data supplies independent, mark-to-market daily pricing, drawn from more than 45 contributing financial institutions for cash securities, credit default swaps (CDS), convertibles and syndicated loans. Markit RED is regarded as an industry standard for reference entity names, reference obligations and codes used throughout the CDS markets.

"Many of our clients are looking for a complete, integrated solution for credit trading. Partnering with Markit enables us to provide high-quality data coupled with market-standard reference entity and reference obligation data," stated Chris Roye, global head of sales at Tamesis, in the release.

--Patsystems Lands Contract With Tokyo Grain Exchange

Patsystems signed a development contract with the Tokyo Grain Exchange (TGE) to host the first continuous market for rice futures at the exchange, the vendor announced on Monday.

TGE will use Patsystems' exchange systems technology as the platform to integrate its existing session-style trading with continuous trading. Patsystems will provide its J-Trader front end, an order-management system and a matching engine.

In addition, the contract has a provision for further development to integrate continuous and session markets from a single trading screen with a single clearing and settlement system. Patsystems contends, upon implementation, that this will be the first system in the world to accommodate both continuous and session-style trading on a single platform.

Patsystems is currently a leading supplier of end-to-end technology in Japan. Since 1996, it has provided four of the five Japanese electronic commodity exchanges, including the TGE, with session-based trading technology.

Asian exchanges are moving to enhance their trading systems to support the increased need for Chinese-commodities-market participants to hedge risk through commodities derivatives, according to the vendor.

Patsystems is engaged in talks with a number of exchanges across China with the aim of introducing its trading technology to China as part of its Asian strategy.

--CBOE Picks etvMEDIA to Provide Streaming Video

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) selected etvMEDIA to provide streaming video services for CBOE TV available on the exchange's Web site, www.cboe.com, the vendor announced on Monday. CBOE TV will provide video reports to investors about financial market activity and information about the CBOE and its products.

In a statement in the release, Tim Kelly, founder and chief executive officer of etvMEDIA, said, "The CBOE's decision to embrace streaming video on their Web site is yet another example of their leadership role in embracing enabling technologies to service the trading community."

CBOE's Web site has been voted "Best of the Web" by Forbes.com for four years running, states Cynthia Eisener, CBOE vice president of Internet marketing, in the release.

Based in Glen Head, N.Y., etvMEDIA provides streaming video management and delivery solutions, giving companies the tools necessary to operate a commercial video Web presence. Using etvMEDIA's browser-based etvMEDIAHub and eTV-Producer, companies can operate a video portal from their own Web site within hours, while uploading and managing video content takes seconds, the company says.

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