Interdealer broker ICAP has confirmed it is an equal member of a consortium of financial institutions that is considering making a bid for European clearing house LCH.Clearnet.
“Discussions are at a very preliminary stage, and there can be no certainty that such an offer will be made,” the firm said in a statement. “A further statement will be made if and when appropriate.”
LCH.Clearnet said it has received a preliminary approach about an offer for the company from the consortium, but has not so far received a formal offer.
A bid, if it emerges, would pit the consortium against US clearing house The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), which entered a non-binding agreement to buy the LCH.Clearnet in October. Under DTCC’s offer, LCH.Clearnet shareholders would receive total consideration of up to €739 million (€10 a share). DTCC plans to merge LCH.Clearnet with its existing European clearing operation, EuroCCP.
LCH.Clearnet said discussions and due diligence with regard to the DTCC offer are continuing.
It is not clear who the other consortium members are, but news reports have suggested that banks Société Générale and Morgan Stanley are among them.
LCH, though its UK subsidiary LCH.Clearnet Ltd and French subsidiary LCH.Clearnet SA, provides clearing services to a range of European stock exchanges, including the London Stock Exchange and NYSE Euronext’s European operations.