ICE mulls bidding for London Stock Exchange Group

Exchange and clearing house operator Intercontinental Exchange Inc (ICE) today said that it is mulling tabling a takeover bid for London Stock Exchange Group Plc (LSEG), a move that could upset the Deutsche Boerse's ongoing merger talks with LSEG.

LSEG said it had yet not received an offer from ICE and that its talks with Deutsche Boerse were continuing.

LSEG and Deutsche Boerse last week announced that they were in detailed merger talks, which could create a European trading powerhouse worth around £20 billion ($28 billion).

The potential LSEG and Deutsche Boerse merger would be structured as an all share merger of equals under a new holding company.

Under the terms of the merger talks, LSE shareholders would receive 0.4421new shares in exchange for each LSE share, while Deutsche Boerse shareholders would receive one new share in exchange for each Deutsche Boerse share.

Post closing, Deutsche Boerse shareholders would hold 54.4 per cent of the new holding company, and LSE shareholders would hold the remaining 45.6 per cent.

The new holding company would be composed of equal numbers of LSE and Deutsche Boerse directors.

Atlanta-based ICE, owner of the New York Stock Exchange said in a statement that it has not taken a final decision on whether to make an offer, nor has it approached LSE's board about a merger.

''There can be no certainty that any offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which any offer will be made,'' ICE said in the statement.

ICE will wait until Deutsche Boerse tables a formal offer for LSE before 22 March as per the UK takeover rules, according to analysts, while ICE must make an offer for LSE by 29 March.