(Changes name of company to IG Group from IG Index, para 6)
LONDON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Administrators for currency trading firm Alpari (UK) Ltd said they had received a number of inquiries from potential buyers of the business hit by heavy losses from last week’s surge in the value of the Swiss franc.
Alpari lost millions of dollars after the Swiss National Bank removed its currency cap on Thursday and administrators appointed on Monday said that efforts to find a buyer for Alpari (UK) over the weekend failed and they would hold talks with interested suitors in the coming days.
U.S. retail FX broker FXCM was a potential buyer for Alpari UK, according to industry news site Forex Magnates, citing unnamed sources.
However, it is “not true” that FXCM is buying or is interested in Alpari, an FXCM spokeswoman said.
FXCM’s own customers lost more than $200 million from the Swiss franc’s move and it got a $300 million loan from Leucadia National Corp to keep operating.
IG Group could be interested in some Alpari assets, but not the whole firm, the Wall Street Journal reported. IG would be interested in suitable assets at the right price, a person familiar with the matter said.
Other potential bidders for all or some of Alpari’s business included Australian online currency trader Pepperstone Financial Services, ETX Capital and SpreadCo, according to media reports.
Richard Heis, Samantha Bewick and Mark Firmin of KPMG were appointed special administrators to Alpari (UK) Ltd.
Heis said Alpari (UK) holds $98.5 million of retail client money which has been segregated and the administrators would return this to clients or make other suitable arrangements in accordance with statute and the regulatory framework.
The business, which sponsors Premiership football club West Ham United, has 170 employees in its London offices.
Alpari said it was working with the Financial Conduct Authority over its options.
Retail brokerages and some large banks were hit hard by the SNB’s sudden move Thursday to scrap its three-year-old cap on the value of the Swiss franc against the euro. Client losses left some brokerages with too little capital. (Reporting by Ian Chua and Steve Slater; Additional reporting by Matt Scuffham and Gertrude Chavez; Editing by Jane Merriman and Gopakumar Warrier)