Deutsche Boerse, LSE to sell French clearing house

Stock exchange operators Deutsche Boerse and London Stock Exchange (LSE) plan to sell French clearing house LCH Clearnet as they push for regulatory approval of their planned merger

The two companies, whose operations include the London and Frankfurt stock markets, "decided to formally submit the divestment of LCH Clearnet SA by LCH Clearnet Group as a remedy to the European Commission in order to address anti-trust concerns," they said in a statement.

Selling the French arm of LSE's clearing house business have been in the offing since early January, when LSE agreed in principle to sell it to European rival Euronext.

If the merger with Deutsche Boerse - announced in February 2016 - goes through, Euronext will buy LCH Clearnet for €510 million ($545 million).

Earlier in 2000 and 2005, the merger plans between the two exchanges had to be abandoned over regulatory concerns.

This time the proposed deal has been opposed by France, Belgium, Portugal and the Netherlands, over the impact of the merger on their stock exchanges, owned by Euronext.

The deadline for Deutsche Boerse and LSE to suggest their proposed divestments to alleviate EC regulatory concerns over their tie-up was Monday evening.

Clearing houses, act as an intermediary between buyers and sellers of financial instruments, ensuring settlement of trades, are a key part of the infrastructure of markets.

In September 2016, EU competition regulators launched an in-depth probe of the proposed merger between LSE and Deutsche Boerse.