Britain's financial regulator approves Tullett-ICAP deal

(Reuters) - Britain's financial regulator approved interdealer broker Tullett Prebon's TLPR.L proposed acquisition of ICAP Plc's IAP.L hybrid voice broking business, removing a key regulatory hurdle in the path to create the world's largest voice broker.

Tullett agreed to buy the ICAP business in a 1.11 billion-pound deal last November, in a transaction aimed at better competing in a sector where trading volumes have shrunk, but one that also raised various regulatory concerns.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Britain’s competition watchdog said the combined company faced limited competition for broking of oil products, while the U.S. Department of Justice was concerned about the shareholding and governance arrangements.

Britain’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), was looking at the regulatory framework of the deal, Bloomberg reported in late October.

Tullett and ICAP have been working to address the concerns, winning the DoJ’s clearance in July and the CMA’s approval in principle a month later.

The proposed deal was approved by the FCA, Tullett Prebon said in a statement on Tuesday.

The company said it was still working other regulators to win clearance and that the deal was on track to close this year.

ICAP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tullett Prebon’s shares were down 1.6 percent at 422.6 pence and ICAP’s shares were little changed at 529 pence at 1456 GMT on the London Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Pranav Kiran and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Savio D’Souza