The London Metal Exchange has received a good number of first-round bids for the 130-year-old bourse, the world’s largest metals market place, an LME spokesman said on Friday.
Separate sources familiar with the situation said the list includes NYSE/Euronext. Around half of the 15 or so parties that had shown interest in the LME had made initial offers.
“Everything is on track with a good number of bids for the board to consider next week,” an LME spokesman said.
The LME board meets on Feb. 23.
The Financial Times newspaper reported that the CME Group had also made an offer. The CME declined to comment.
Sources said potential suitor Deutsche Boerse had decided not to bid and that the London Stock Exchange was also unlikely to make an offer.
NYSE Euronext, Deutsche Boerse and the LSE declined to comment.
European antitrust regulators scotched an attempt by Deutsche Boerse to buy NYSE Euronext earlier this month on concern it would create a dominant player in European listed derivatives.
One source familiar with the situation said despite the setback with Deutsche Boerse, NYSE Euronext was in a good position to bid for the LME given the synergies with its London-based soft commodities and grains exchange NYSE Liffe.
The source described the LME as a “nice bolt-on to help build scale”, and a possible bridge to emerging markets including Asia. The source added that the exchange was not looking to strip the LME if it won.
Analysts and industry sources have valued the exchange at between £500-million and £1.5-billion pounds ($783.4-million-$2.4-billion U.S.) based on expectations of higher earnings boosted by new products and by self clearing.
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