Several sources are telling me that Warburg Pincus is selling Wall Street Systems to ION Trading, which is owned by TA Associates. It wasn’t clear how much TA is paying.
Wall Street Systems, with headquarters in New York and London, provides treasury, trading and settlement solutions and services to financial institutions, corporations and central banks. The company has 700 employees and 14 offices globally.
Michael Golding, a Wall Street Systems spokesman, confirmed the sale to TA. “ION Trading has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Wall Street Systems,” Golding wrote in an emailed response to questions. He declined further comment.
TA is currently in the market for a $350 million loan to back the buy, according to Thomson Reuters Loan Pricing Corp.
New York-based Warburg is one of the oldest buyout shops, having established its first institutional fund in 1971. In 2007, the New York PE firm raised $15 billion with its most recent fund, Warburg Pincus Private Equity X LP.
Warburg’s investment in Wall Street Systems dates back to 2006. At the time, the PE firm acquired Wall Street Systems and Trema and combined the two. Warburg owns a majority stake in the company.
Wall Street Systems has been on the acquisition hunt in the past year. In January, the company acquired Treasura, the corporate treasury manager service from Thomson Reuters (Thomson Reuters is the parent of peHUB).
In 2010, Wall Street Systems snagged two deals. Last June, it bought City Financials, a corporate treasury specialist, and acquired Speranza, an electronic bank account management specialist, in April 2010.
While Warburg’s holding is nearly 5 years old, TA’s investment in ION will hit seven years. In June 2004, the Boston PE firm reportedly invested roughly $44 million for a minority stake in Dublin-based ION, which provides trading software mainly focused on the fixed income markets. It’s unclear how much TA owns of ION now. TA has previously invested in Ameritrade, Instinet and IntercontinentalExchange.
Officials for Warburg declined comment.