General Atlantic joins electronic trading trend

General Atlantic has bought a minority stake in the Global Electronic Trading Company, in the latest example of private equity interest in the burgeoning electronic payments sector.

US buyout firm General Atlantic has taken a minority interest in electronic trading platform Global Electronic Trading Company for an undisclosed sum.

The deal is the third private equity investment in an electronic payments company this month, following  KKR’s $29 million mega-deal for First Data, one of the largest buyouts ever agreed, and Warburg Pincus’ $625 million acquisition of Megavante.

GETCO is a global electronic trading platform, which aims to provide enhanced liquidity for investors and improve the efficiency of pricing.

General Atlantic managing director Rene Kern and chief executive Bill Ford will join GETCO’s board, while the management team will remain unchanged.

Kern said the company’s business model, culture and technology all position it favourably within its environment, which is increasingly global and spans a number of asset classes.

General Atlantic has around $12 billion of capital under management and has invested in more than 160 companies. Its 50 current portfolio companies include financial services firms E*Trade, Computershare and RiskMetrics.