LME ponders bids from suitors


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The London Metal Exchange, the world's top market for industrial metals such as copper and aluminum, is considering selling itself after receiving bid approaches.

The LME, which is owned by the trading houses and banks that use the market, said it was being advised by investment bank Moelis & Company, but declined to identify its suitors.

"The London Metal Exchange (LME) has received several expressions of interest with regard to potential strategic transactions," a statement said.

"The board... will begin a formal process which may or may not lead to an acceptable offer for the company being received."

The exchange said it would launch a formal process but warned it might not result in an offer for the company.

The interest shown in the LME, where trading volumes are currently at record levels, reflects the importance of the exchange in global commodities markets.

The LME accounts for 80 per cent of traded volume in global metal futures transactions – about $46bn a day – and its prices set the benchmarks for global miners and consumers.