European clearing house LCH.Clearnet has confirmed that it is in discussions to acquire International Derivatives Clearing Group (IDCG) from Nasdaq OMX as it bids to grow its interest rate swaps business in the US.
The acquisition - which will see LCH.Clearnet become the sole owner of IDCG and Nasdaq OMX become a shareholder in the European clearer - is subject to negotiations.
LCH.Clearnet already operates interest rate swap clearing in the US through its SwapClear service.
Michael Davie, chief executive of SwapClear, says: "LCH.Clearnet Group is committed to providing end-users with a broad range of clearing services for their over-the-counter trades. This strategic acquisition would complement our US offering, where we are seeing accelerating client take-up for the SwapClear service."
To date, the SwapClear service has cleared a total client notional of more than $686 billion.
LCH.Clearnet has been working with New York Portfolio Clearing (NYPC), The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) and Nyse Euronext (NYX) to explore expanding the existing combined "one-pot" cross-margining arrangement to include interest rate swaps cleared by SwapClear, creating more opportunities for market participants to benefit from margin netting and offsetting.
LCH.Clearnet says the acquisition of IDCG would be "further evidence" of its commitment to the US market.