The owner of the New York Stock Exchange is considering crashing Europe's biggest market merger

America’s Intercontinental Exchange is considering crashing the European market merger of the decade between Germany’s Deutsche Boerse and the London Stock Exchange.

The company, which owns the New York Stock Exchange, said it was exploring a bid for the LSE but that it hadn’t approached the board with an offer.

Shares in the LSE went ballistic on the news at the start of trading on Tuesday, up more than 7%, on hopes of a bidding war for the UK’s stock market:

The deal between Deutsche Boerse and the LSE, first proposed in May 2001 but since abandoned, is at an advanced stage and the two groups are “in detailed discussions about a potential merger of equals of the two businesses,” according to an LSE statement last week.

“The Boards believe that the Potential Merger would represent a compelling opportunity for both companies to strengthen each other in an industry-defining combination, creating a leading European-based global markets infrastructure group.”

“The combination of LSE and Deutsche Boerse’s complementary growth strategies, products, services and geographic footprint would be expected to deliver an enhanced ability to provide a full service offering to customers on a global basis,” the company said last week.

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