The London Stock Exchange yesterday struck a deal to buy up to a60 per cent stake of the clearing house LCH.Clearnet in the biggest deal since its attempt to merge with the Toronto stock exchange was blocked last year.
The LSE will pay up to €463m (£387m) for a full 60 per cent stake and less if it only gets the minimum 50 per cent plus one share.
LCH.Clearnet's largest shareholders are NYSE Euronext and the London Metal Exchange, which is itself up for sale. After that come 15 of the world's largest investment banks and brokers.
Xavier Rolet, the chief executive of the LSE, said: "This is a transformative deal. It will allow us to offer new products, offer our clients better services and crystallises the governance of areas of the market which matter to the real economy."
LCH was formed in 1888 and employs 800 people, mainly in London and Paris. Clearing houses stand between two parties conducting a trade, guaranteeing to complete if one of the parties should default.
The LSE and LCH.Clearnet had been in exclusive negotiations since September.