The Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) has been acquired by Euronext, which already operates some of Europe's main exchanges.

The deal is worth €137m on a debt-free/cashfree basis, and excludes regulatory capital requirements estimated at €21.8m.

"Significant opportunities to arise through the joining of ISE to Euronext federal model and leveraging Euronext’s technology, support and services," the ISE said in a statement.

ISE CEO Deirdre Somers will be Euronext’s Head of Debt, Funds and ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) listing and member of Euronext Managing Board

Ireland will become Euronext's sixth core European country, alongside France, Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and the UK.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory approvals.

The financial institutions which own the ISE - J&E Davy, Goodbody Stockbrokers, Investec Capital and Investments, Cantor Fitzgerald and Campbell O’Connor - have all committed to sell their shares.

The announcement comes as Ireland, traditionally heavily dependent on its links to the UK, bids to deepen financial and trade ties with fellow EU members in the wake of Brexit.

Commenting on the deal, Ms Somers said: "This is a landmark day in the 224-year history of ISE and a great day for our customers and our people. This transaction recognises the significant value and leading market position that has been built by the ISE.

"More importantly, we believe that Euronext is the perfect partner to enable us to achieve our growth ambitions. Euronext is hugely complementary to the ISE, bringing valuable expertise, financial strength, global relationships and technological capability as well as a global brand."

Stéphane Boujnah, Euronext CEO and Chairman of the Managing Board, said:  "The Irish Stock Exchange joining Euronext represents a major milestone in the expansion of Euronext’s federal model since its IPO. ISE brings to Euronext leading global positions in debt, funds and ETF listings markets. As part of Euronext, ISE’s growth initiatives will be reinforced with Euronext’s full support."