LSE Reportedly Eyes Bid for Russell Investments

The London Stock Exchange is reportedly mulling a bid to acquire Russell Investments in an effort to bolster’s LSE indexing business.

LSE, the parent company of FTSE International financial indices, “said on Tuesday any deal would be part funded by selling new stock to its existing shareholders,” report Freya Berry and Clare Hutchison for Reuters.

Seattle-based Russell, a unit of Northwest Mutual, could be worth up to $3 billion in a sale. In January, it was reported that Northwestern Mutual was mulling a sale of Russell. Although not mentioned in connection with Russell, it has also been reported that Nasdaq OMX Group (NasdaqGM: NDAQ) and S&P Dow Jones Indices are shopping for acquisitions to bolster their index offerings. [Nasdaq, S&P Hunt for Index Acquisitions]

Some potential suitors did not make it past the first round of bidding for Russell because they only want the indexing business and Northwestern Mutual would prefer not to break up Russell’s asset management and indexing unit.

Analysts believe LSE is only interested in the indexing business and that would reduce the potential sale price to $1 billion, according to Reuters.

In March, it was reported that Russell was drawing interest as a takeover target from private equity firms Blackstone (NYSE: BX) and Bain Capital. [Russell Draws Interest From Private Equity Suitors]