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Consortium of banks offers takeover bid

LCH.CLEARNET Group, a key European trading securities clearing house, has received a takeover bid for as much as US$1.2 billion from a consortium of banks, including JPMorgan Chase Co, said online media reports including The Wall Street Journal.

LCH.Clearnet spokeswoman Andrea Schlaepfer confirmed on Saturday that the company had received a takeover offer late Friday from a "consortium of ICAP plus some banks" but declined to comment on the financial details of the offer.

According to online reports posted on Saturday, the bank consortium also includes Deutsche Bank AG as well as eight other banks and London-based broker ICAP PLC.

It offered the bid late Friday as part of an effort to cut costs of trading stocks, bonds and derivatives and to get more control over a business that the banks believe has significant earnings opportunity, according to

The Website attributed the report to an anonymous source that was familiar with the matter. Joseph Evangelisti, a spokesman at JPMorgan Chase Co, declined to comment on the report.

In October, LCH.Clearnet - which is 73.3 percent owned by banks and brokers who use its services, according to its Website - said it was considering going to a wholly user-owned not-for-profit model as part of a merger with the United States Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. But the merger with Depository Trust fell through last month.

Meanwhile, the consortium expressed an interest in taking over LCH.Clearnet in November and talks have been going on since then. LCH.Clearnet now has to decide whether to stick to the not-for-profit model or to be taken over and adopt a for-profit model.


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