It had previously been reported that private equity firms KKR & Co., Apollo Global Management LLC, Hellman & Friedman LLC, Carlyle Group and Genstar Capital could also be interested in Russell.

LSE’s move on Russell makes sense due to FTSE’s expanding footprint in the North American indexing business. Roughly 15 U.S.-listed ETFs have transitioned to FTSE indices in less than two years and there are over 100 North American ETFs benchmarked to FTSE indices. [FTSE’s Growing U.S. Presence]

FTSE is also the index provider for an array of well-known ETFs including the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: VWO), the largest emerging markets ETF by assets. The iShares China Large-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: FXI), the largest and most heavily traded China ETF, also tracks a FTSE index.

Recent media reports said Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and index MSCI were among the interested suitors for Russell.

ETF Trends editorial contributed to this post.