GLOBAL - Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) has bought the corporate governance unit of Belgium-based Deminor International, a European minority shareholder advocacy firm, creating a new platform for the firm's European operations.
The combined company will form the foundation of ISS Europe, headquartered in Brussels with offices in Paris and Amsterdam.
“Merging with ISS gives us the global scope and capabilities to offer corporate governance and proxy voting services to clients worldwide,” said Jean-Nicolas Caprasse, managing director of the newly formed ISS Europe.
ISS said it expects European corporate governance to grow rapidly, especially in France and the Netherlands. The firm estimates the market size for corporate governance and proxy voting services in Europe to be almost US$100m, about 26% of the world’s total.
ISS Europe’s research will cover about 3700 companies across 17 countries. The merger is expected to be complete by 2006.
“This transaction will allow Deminor International to focus on its core business in Europe, while providing the corporate governance unit a better opportunity to grow,” said Deminor partner Pierre Nothomb. “At the same time, we believe that in choosing to sell to a global leader like ISS, corporate governance standards will be raised in many ways, driving value for shareholders of all size.”
John M. Connolly, president and chief executive officer of ISS, added: “By integrating Europe’s leading corporate governance firm into ISS’ global operation, we’ll be able to deliver a deeper level of European market expertise and on the ground service to our clients.”
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