Big news in small Amsterdam. Option market maker All Options buys rival trader Saen Options. I noticed a steep rise in hits on this post thanks to google yesterday.

Yet, a little inside knowledge doesn’t make a difference as none of them are listed. All Options made a killing in 2007. It did their homework better than competitors like Interactive Brokers in trading options Altana.

Logic remains a mystery

The reason behind the take-over remains puzzling. There isn’t much synergy in doubling the number of traders. The clearing house won’t have much room to reduce the fees. Combining the research expenses can hardly be seen as justifying merger risk. Saen Options has a way better office though – in Beursplein 5.

Press release

The official press release on this IEX forum gives some clues. Major bullshit management lingo with cementing positions, leading market maker and of course a few words about the cash cow “time zones”. According to the press release the take-over is also intended to “enhances our focus on All Options as best place to work“.

It’s a mystery how this is related to a merger – especially when traders working for All Options receive below average bonus deals percentage. Either Saen Options was on the edge of failing, or All Options’ founder Allard Jakobs had an attack of megalomania. Combination of both, I guess.

Small update

Last rumors confirm Saen was having a difficult year in 2008. According to brokers, they haven’t been very active recently. Strange, because their in-house computer systems are said to be top notch. Long dividend or short VOW calls can seriously ruin your day, though. In contrast to All Options, Saen has a serious trading operation in Asia staffed with over 40 employees.