Talks between the London Stock Exchange and its German equivalent, Deutsche Boerse, on creating an "industry-defining combination" are continuing, the LSE said on Friday as it reported a 31-per-cent jump in pre-tax profit last year.
"We have recently confirmed that we are in detailed discussions with Deutsche Boerse regarding a potential merger of equals," said Xavier Rolet, the LSE's chief executive.
"This represents a compelling opportunity to strengthen each other in an industry-defining combination, by creating a global market infrastructure group with significant benefits for our customers and shareholders," Rolet said.
The LSE Group recorded adjusted pre-tax profits of 643.4 million pounds (907.2 million dollars) last year, up 31 per cent from 2014.
"The group has produced another strong financial performance and continues to make excellent progress executing our strategy to be a leader in global markets infrastructure," Rolet said.
Under the planned merger deal announced last week, Rolet would retire from the combined group after seven years at the helm of Europe's biggest share market.
This would pave the way for Carsten Kengeter, who heads up Deutsche Boerse, the operator of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, to take over as head of the new merged group, which would have an estimated value of 28 billion dollars.
The deal would result in Deutsche Boerse holding a 54.4-per-cent stake in the new combined group, while the London market would have a 45.6-per-cent holding.
The merger would require approval by the European Union's monopoly authorities and several national regulators.