Rival is vying for LME with £1bn bid

The race to take control of the London Metals Exchange is hotting up: rival CME, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, has made a bid that could value the 135-year-old trading pit at £1bn.

The LME, pictured, the world's largest metals futures market, is expected to meet next week to consider offers. Its chief executive, Martin Abbott, had set 15 February as a deadline for takeover bids to be reviewed. NYSE Euronext has submitted an expression of interest.

The main obstacle to a deal may be regulatory approval after the European Union this month rejected a merger of Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext. In the past 15 months, $37bn (£24bn) in proposed exchange industry takeovers have failed. The LME handles 80 per cent of the global trade, and record trading volumes have attracted multiple bidders.