Macquarie poised for formal bid for LSE

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The Australian investment bank Macquarie will today seek to reassure customers of the London Stock Exchange that it does not plan price rises should it win the LSE.

Talks at the London Investment Banking Association are likely to pave the way for Macquarie to table a formal bid before tomorrow's Takeover Panel-imposed deadline. Its informal 580p-a-share approach was rejected as "derisory" by the LSE last week. LSE shares closed at 616p as the City bet Macquarie would dig deeper.

The Exchange's two biggest shareholders, Threadneedle and Scottish Widows, topped up their holdings on Friday by snapping up shares for more than 615p. Another shareholder, Barclays Global Investors, has sold shares for less than 600p over the past week.