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Nasdaq Near London Stake Sale

A reported sale could lead to a purchase of huge OMX.

Nasdaq Stock Market


is close to selling its stake in the London Stock Exchange to Borse Dubai,

The Wall Street Journal


Nasdaq's sale of its 30% stake in the London bourse could pave the way for it to complete its pending acquisition for Nordic exchange operator OMX Group. Nasdaq said in May that it would purchase the OMX for $3.8 billion, but Borse Dubai last month stepped in with a bid valued at around $3.9 billion.

A Nasdaq spokeswoman didn't immediately return a call or email requesting comment.

Investors and analysts had been wondering what Nasdaq would do with its LSE stake since February, when LSE shareholders rejected the Nasdaq's takeover efforts. Bob Greifeld, Nasdaq's CEO, had repeatedly said that Nasdaq would be "opportunistic" with the shares.

Nasdaq has largely been left out of the exchange consolidation dance even as its archrival, the

New York Stock Exchange

, partnered with European exchange behemoth Euronext to create

NYSE Euronext



Nasdaq aggressively tried to acquire the London exchange last year. Under British law, Nasdaq would have to wait a year before pursuing the LSE again.

Nasdaq shares rose 49 cents to $36.02 before trading was halted for pending news.