London Stock Exchange in exclusive talks to take over Russell

THE LONDON Stock Exchange confirmed yesterday that it is in exclusive talks to buy Russell Investments, the stock index and asset management unit of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance.

The purchase of Russell, the firm behind the Russell 1000 Global Index, would boost the LSE’s operations in the United States in a deal worth an estimated $3bn (£1.8bn).

The LSE said last week that it was in talks to buy Russell, and that it could raise money for the purchase through a rights issue.

The deal could enable the London firm to unite Russell’s index brands with its FTSE indices, which it took over fully from Pearson in 2011.

The LSE released a statement yesterday cautioning that “the talks are ongoing and there is no certainty that a transaction will be forthcoming”.

The firm did not mention what it planned to do with Russell’s asset management arm, which has over $260bn in assets under management.

The LSE has diversified into trade clearing, in-depth market data and pan-European platforms since Xavier Rolet became boss in 2009.

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