UPDATE 1-Euronext sets new financial targets, ready for more M&A deals

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(Adds M&A comments)

PARIS, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Stock markets operator Euronext said on Thursday it was open to transformational deals in a bid to boost its dominance in the European capital markets union.

Euronext unveiled a new set of financial targets for 2019-2022, saying it aimed to grow sales by 2% to 3% a year over the period.

Euronext, which operates stock exchanges in Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Lisbon and Paris, also said it aims to reach an organic EBITDA margin above 60% in 2022 which would compare with a pro-forma EBITDA margin of 57% in 2018.

It said it had several hundreds of millions of euros available for acquisitions and could possibly tap equity markets to bring its potential budget up to more than 2 billion euros for a business that would “transform its revenue model”.

Euronext Chief Executive Stephane Boujnah said he was open to buying stand-alone stock exchanges or doing a ‘baby-Refinitiv’ deal, adding that Euronext wants to be the ‘backbone of capital markets union’.

The London Stock Exchange Group said in July it was in discussions to acquire financial data analytics provider Refinitiv Holdings Ltd for $27 billion to expand in the information services business.

Among bolt-on acquisitions, Euronext said it was interested in investing in post trade services, new asset classes in commodities and advanced data services, such as new ESG-based indices.

Earlier this year, Euronext bought Norwegian stock exchange Oslo Bors for 700 million euros ($770 million).

Stock exchanges worldwide are looking for ways to diversify from their primary businesses of charging fees per transaction into more stable sources of cash flow. ($1 = 0.9088 euros) (Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; Writing by Matthieu Protard; Editing by Dominique Vidalon and Alexandra Hudson)

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