Swiss-German derivatives exchange Eurex has confirmed that it is holding talks with a number of US exchanges regarding a partnership for its loss-making Chicago-based business.
In a statement, Eurex says: "Any resulting agreement would call for the partner exchange to take a stake in Eurex US."
The exchange says the "strategic direction" taken has been approved by its parent companies companies Deutsche Börse and SWX Swiss Exchange, as well as its supervisory board.
Eurex did not disclose the exchanges it is holding negotiations with, but in December Deutsche Börse was rumoured to be in talks with electronic trading platform Archipelago and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange (PHLX).
Eurex US opened two years ago to compete against the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) in US Treasury futures trading, but has failed to make inroads and has struggled since its launch. The exchange is now focusing its efforts on currency futures.
Today's statement comes a week after the resignation of Eurex's chief executive, Rudolf Ferscha.
Ferscha, who joined Eurex from Goldman Sachs in 2000, was instrumental in the launch of Eurex US in February 2004. Failure of the venture and internal squabbles over the future of the unit are thought to have led to his resignation.
Reto Francioni, who replaced Werner Seifert as CEO of the German exchange last year, will assume Ferscha's responsibilities at Deutsche Börse on an interim basis.