Nordic and Baltic market operator OMX is in preliminary talks to be acquired by US electronic exchange Nasdaq, according to press reports.
The talks are thought to be at a very early stage and Nasdaq is unlikely to complete a deal with OMX before making a decision on whether to pursue an acquisition of the London Stock Exchange.
The UK market operator rejected a £2.43bn cash bid from Nasdaq earlier this year but the US exchange has since built up a 25.1% stake in LSE, fuelling speculation of a possible hostile takeover.
OMX has previously been the subject of bid talk from a number of potential buyers, including the LSE. The Scandinavian company also tried to buy the UK exchange and originally launched a hostile takeover in 2000, but this was branded inadequate by the LSE and also helped de-rail a potential merger between the UK exchange and Deutsche Börse.
The latest talks with Nasdaq are thought to have been instigated by OMX, which is looking to cash in on the wave of exchange consolidation sweeping the European and US markets.