Nasdaq eyes Philadelphia Stock Exchange

/ Source: The Associated Press

Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. is in talks to acquire the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, according to a published report.

The two exchanges have been in talks for months, and the discussions have intensified in recent weeks after Nasdaq's failed bid to buy London Stock Exchange PLC, the Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site Tuesday night, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

A representative of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange said no deal had been made and that the organization was still exploring an initial public offering.

A Nasdaq spokeswoman declined to comment.

Nasdaq officials have said they want to expand into options trading. Acquiring the Philadelphia exchange, the country's third-largest options exchange by contracts traded, would give Nasdaq a sizable position in the options business.

Followers of the Philadelphia exchange say it could be worth $250 million to $300 million. It has previously laid out ambitions to become a public company.