American stock exchange Nasdaq has agreed to buy out Swedish bourse OMX for $3.7 billion (£1.86 billion).
The merger, said to have been unanimously recommended by the boards of directors of both OMX and Nasdaq, will create a combined group of 2,349 employees in 22 countries and joint revenues in 2006 of more than $1.2 billion (£604 million).
Under the name of Nasdaq OMX, the group says the merger will create the "largest global network of exchanges and exchange customers linked by technology", benefiting "customers, shareholders and other stakeholders in both companies". "The future of exchanges is about technology, flexibility and scale. Nasdaq and OMX together deliver all of these benefits," said Robert Greifeld, chief executive of Nasdaq. A similar sentiment was issued from OMX, who formed in 2003 through a merger between OM AB and Hex.
"This combination creates a new leader in the exchange industry," said Magnus Bocker, chief executive of OMX.
"Issuers, members, information vendors and investors on both Nasdaq and OMX Nordic Exchange will all benefit from its new global context."
Nasdaq's move follows its failure to take control of the London Stock Exchange in a high-profile takeover bid worth £2.7 billion last December.