Shares in Bats Global Markets have soared on the back of speculation that it may be acquired by the venerable Chicago Board Options Exchange.
Bats stock price rose 24% to $33 following unconfirmed reports that the CBOE is holding talks about a possible takeover.
Such a move would push the 43-year old exchange beyond its traditional options and futures business into the big leagues of US and European shares and currency trading. It would also act as a bulwark against increasing incursions by rival exchange operator Nasdaq into its core US options business.
Bats currently ranks as the second-biggest US stock market and Europe's largest equities trading venue. The company, which went public in April, is currently valued at about $2.6 billion.