TA Associates Invests EUR 35 Million in ION Trading Group

BOSTON & DUBLIN, Ireland--()--June 10, 2004--TA Associates, a leading private equity and buyout firm, today announced it has invested EUR 35 million ($44 million USD) for a minority stake in the ION Trading Group, a leading provider of high-performance trading solutions for electronic fixed income markets.

ION's technology allows clients to integrate and successfully manage trading activities in electronic fixed income markets. The group's proprietary software solution, MarketView(TM), provides fixed income traders with an integrated view of global electronic, fixed income, derivatives and futures markets through a powerful, user-friendly interface. MarketView(TM) provides advanced trading functionality along with tools for system administration and real-time monitoring, and is used by most of the largest investment banks worldwide. Founded in 1999, ION is headquartered in Dublin, with offices in London, New York, Tokyo, Madrid and Pisa (Italy).

"We are very pleased to partner with an experienced growth capital firm like TA," said Andrea Pignataro, ION's CEO and Founder. "We are attracted by TA's impressive history of successful investments in the financial services and financial technology industries. We will work closely with our investors as we continue to grow ION and expand around the globe, especially the U.S."

"We identified ION early on as a company with great technology, top-notch management and phenomenal growth potential," said Stefano Iamoni, partner of Kairos, the first institutional investor in ION, and long-standing member of ION's Board of Directors "We welcome TA as our new partner and look forward to working with them to continue to expand globally and build on ION's success."

"ION has emerged as one of the leading third-party providers of fixed income trading solutions," said Kenneth T. Schiciano, a Managing Director at TA Associates who will join the company's Board of Directors. "Andrea has assembled a talented management team, and under his direction, ION has become a critical and trusted supplier of fixed income trading solutions to the largest fixed income dealers globally. We expect to work with ION to accelerate the group's global expansion, particularly in the U.S., through organic growth, as well as supporting acquisitions of complimentary companies that supply additional fixed income trading solution components."

"The fixed income trading environment is dynamic and evolving," said Ajit Nedungadi, the London-based Director of TA Associates Ltd. who also will join ION's Board of Directors. "Electronic fixed income trading has emerged over the past five years as a significant improvement over the traditional voice-based systems, with an increasing number of security types migrating to electronic platforms. As a leading supplier of critical elements of a dealer's fixed income trading infrastructure, ION is well-positioned to capture an increasing share of the technology capital expenditure of commercial and investment banks as the migration to fixed income electronic trading continues."

TA has more than 36 years of investing experience, focusing on profitable, growth-oriented companies. Some of TA's prior investments in the financial services and financial technology sectors include Affiliated Managers Group, AIM Management Group (AMVESCAP), Datek Online Holdings (Ameritrade Holding Corporation), GlobeOp Financial Services, Island ECN (Instinet Group Incorporated), Lava Trading and Thomson Advisory Group (PIMCO).

TA has been an active investor in the European markets with several recent investments, including Drive Assist UK Ltd., GlobeOp Financial Services, Sophos Plc and Tempur-Pedic International. The firm opened its London office in 2003 and is continuing to expand its investment efforts in Europe.

Goodwin Procter LLP and Travers Smith Braithwaite served as legal counsel for TA Associates. Simmons & Simmons and A&L Goodbody provided legal counsel to ION and the existing shareholders.

ION Trading Group

Founded in 1999, ION Trading Group is the market leader in providing high performance trading solutions for electronic fixed income markets. Its MarketView(TM) proprietary software is a flexible, open, customisable and cost-effective fixed income trading solution that provides real-time integration of market data with internal systems. MarketView(TM) is the solution of choice for the largest investment banks worldwide. ION is headquartered in Dublin with offices in London, New York, Tokyo, Madrid and Pisa (Italy). More information on ION is available at www.iontrading.com.

TA Associates

Founded in 1968, TA Associates is one of the largest and most experienced private equity firms. With offices in Boston, Menlo Park, Pittsburgh and London, the firm manages over $5 billion in capital and has invested in more than 340 companies. TA Associates provides growth equity capital, leveraged recapitalization and management buyout financing primarily for technology, financial and business services, healthcare and consumer businesses. More information about TA Associates can be found at www.ta.com.

Kairos

Founded in 1999, Kairos manages EUR 2.7 billion through a variety of alternative investment products. The Kairos Partners Private Equity Fund, launched in 2001, focuses on development capital and buyout opportunities. Since inception, the fund has completed four investments. For more information visit www.kairospartners.com.

This document is approved for issue in the UK by TA Associates Ltd., which is regulated by the FSA.

Contacts

TA Associates
Marcia O'Carroll, 617-574-6796
mocarroll@ta.com
or
Arnold Corporate Communications
Philip Nunes, 617-587-8906
pnunes@arn.com

Contacts

TA Associates
Marcia O'Carroll, 617-574-6796
mocarroll@ta.com
or
Arnold Corporate Communications
Philip Nunes, 617-587-8906
pnunes@arn.com