FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) - German stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse AG has no interest in buying European exchange group Euronext, sources close to the Germany-based group said on Tuesday.
The Wall Street Journal had cited people familiar with the discussions as saying that Deutsche Boerse, London Stock Exchange Group Plc (LSE) and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc were considering bids for Euronext, part of IntercontinentalExchange Group Inc.
Deutsche Boerse declined to comment on that idea, though the chairman of its supervisory board told reporters the German exchange would continue to shun large acquisitions.
Earlier this year Nasdaq OMX Chief Executive Robert Greifeld said the company would consider a bid for Euronext if the opportunity arose.
Sources have told Reuters that officials from Britain’s LSE have reached out to ICE informally about a possible acquisition.
Nasdaq and LSE declined to comment on Tuesday.
IntercontinentalExchange has committed to spinning off Euronext, which includes the Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon stock exchanges, to secure regulatory approval for its $10.9 billion takeover of NYSE Euronext.
Euronext’s ownership has since become a matter of national pride, with regulators from the Netherlands and France scrambling to prevent it falling once more into foreign hands, sources have told Reuters.
French authorities earlier this year began discussions with financial institutions in the country, including major banks such as Societe Generale and Credit Agricole SA, about the possibility of taking a large stake in Euronext, one source said.
The talks also included Dutch firms such as ABN AMRO, they added.
Last week French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici stressed the need for Euronext to have a federal, European management that would preserve the standing of Paris as a financial hub.
He backed a proposal for the creation of a group of core shareholders holding a stake of at least 25 percent in Euronext and representing the interests of France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal.
But those ambitions face potential competition from rival bourses. Exchanges have been looking to buy each other to offset falling trading volumes, as well as to boost revenue by diversifying into settlement and clearing operations and into new products.
Deutsche Boerse has made three attempts at combining with Euronext since 2003. The final attempt, made in 2011, was shot down by antitrust concerns over creating a dominant player in European derivatives.
Editing by Carmel Crimmins and David Holmes