Online services provider Excite acquires 88.9% stake in retail FX broker ArenaFX

Maria Nikolova

Japanese retail FX broker ArenaFX changes owners from Nippon RAD to Excite, in a deal valued at JPY 159.9 million.

The Japanese retail Forex sector has not provided us with many examples of M&A deals over the past years, apart from some notable exceptions such as the acquisition of FXCM Japan by Rakuten Securities, a subsidiary of Rakuten Inc (TYO:4755), in 2015, and the acquisition of the retail clients of Planex Trade by Japan in 2014.

Today, the Japanese retail FX market offers us an example of such a deal, as online services provider Excite Japan Co., Ltd. (TYO:3754) announces the takeover of a controlling stake in retail FX broker ArenaFX, or Arena-FX Co., Ltd.

The deal involves the acquisition of 4,702 shares of the outstanding share capital of the broker and is valued at JPY 159.9 million. Following the acquisition, Excite will own a stake of 88.9% stake in ArenaFX.

The deal means that ArenaFX is effectively changing its owner from Nippon RAD Inc. (TYO:4736) to Excite. All companies involved in the transaction have commented on the deal. Nippon has explained that the deal will allow it to focus on its core technology operations. It added that it will continue to support ArenaFX with regard to financial technology.

In its announcement, Excite underlined its aims to diversify its offering and stressed the importance of the social trading services provided by ArenaFX. Indeed, ArenaFX is the single Japanese FX broker offering ZuluTrade.

Excite did not mention anything about changing the brand or business strategy of ArenaFX. The brokerage told its customers that it will continue to offer the platforms it provides at present.

Let’s recall, however, that recently there have been changes in the offering of ArenaFX. In August this year, the company said it would stop offering the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform to its clients.

The company attributed the move to “Forex restructuring” and set September 30, 2017, as the deadline for closing all positions on the platform. Withdrawal requests will be accepted by October 9, 2017. ArenaFX has been offering MT4 trading to its clients since early 2013. The decision to terminate the MT4 offering will affect both live and demo accounts. The company has already stopped accepting applications for new MT4 accounts.

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