Pan-European exchange Euronext has approached the board of Norwegian stock exchange Olso Bors with a €625m (£563m) offer.
Euronext already has support from shareholders representing 49.6 per cent of shares and has tabled the cash offer for the outstanding shares, it said today.
It expected to start a tender off of 145 Norwegian kroner (£13) per share, a premium of 32 per cent to the company’s closing share price on 17 December.
The offer continues Euronext's pattern of seeking modest acquisitions rather than a transformational deal that would put it alongside industry leaders such as CME, ICE and London Stock Exchange.
Euronext said Oslo Bors world-leading position in seafood derivatives and expertise in oil services and shipping would strengthen its position in Europe.
Having recently acquired the Irish Stock Exchange, the company said if the Oslo Bors transaction was completed it would be another key milestone in its vision to build a pan-European marketplace.
“Euronext strongly believes that Oslo Børs VPS' unique strategic and competitive positioning, including a global leading position in seafood derivatives and a deep-rooted expertise in oil services and shipping, would further strengthen Euronext's position as the leading market infrastructure for the financing of the real economy in Europe,” the company said in a statement.
Euronext is heavily dependent on share trading for revenues and has taken steps to diversify by moving into foreign exchange and buying the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE), which lists bonds.
Bigger rivals have also been expanding, with ICE completing its acquisition of the Chicago Stock Exchange and CME taking over NEX Group.