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NEW YORK: Nasdaq agreed to acquire Verafin, a Canadian financial fraud-detection company, for $2.75 billion, the companies announced Thursday.

Verafin, founded in 2003 in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, employs machine learning, data analytics and other tools to detect money laundering and fraud. The company's cloud-based products currently serve more than 2,000 banks and credit unions in North America.

Nasdaq said the transaction would strengthen its efforts to eradicate financial crime and money laundering. It cited a United Nations estimate that there are up to $2 trillion in laundered money flows per year.

"At the core of Nasdaq's mission, we champion fairness and integrity in the markets that we build and in the broader financial ecosystem in which we operate," said Nasdaq Chief Executive Adena Friedman. "Combatting financial crime is central to achieving our goals."

Besides strengthening Nasdaq's system integrity, the transaction will boost the exchange's software offerings to clients, Friedman said.

Nasdaq plans to keep Verafin's headquarters in St. John's and will support technology investment in the region, including funding a fellowship program at Memorial University, the companies said in a press release.-AFP