CME Group, the operator of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, is reportedly considering making a bid for the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE), in just the latest move by a rival financial exchange to snatch up the London operator.
Multiple news outlets reported over the weekend that CME – the world's largest financial exchange – is looking into approaching LSE, in a move that would potentially gatecrash the £20bn merger on the table between LSE and Frankfurt-based Deutsche Boerse.
LSE revealed last month that it was in merger talks with Deutsche Boerse in a bid to create a dominant European exchange operator.
But last week, shares in the LSE soared to a record high, after the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) owner Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) confirmed it was also considering bidding for the London exchange.
ICE, which is based in Atlanta, is also reportedly looking at spinning off multiple LSE assets, including the French arm of the clearing house LCH.Clearnet, as well as disposing of Borsa Italiana. LSE first acquired the Italian exchange, which includes equities, derivatives trading and post-trade product streams, in 2007 for more than £1.1bn.
LSE is separately reported to be considering its own sale of the LCH.Clearnet business, in an effort to close the deal with Deutsche Boerse.
A bid from either ICE or CME could stop the LSE-Deutsche Boerse tie-up, which would create a dominant European exchange to rival threat to the two leading American exchanges.
ICE and LSE declined to comment.
CME could not be reached for comment.