US stock exchange Nasdaq has said it plans to sell its £797m ($1.58bn) stake in the London Stock Exchange (LSE), six months after its takeover bid failed.
Nasdaq did not succeed in its hostile takeover move for the LSE
It built up the stake as it sought to buy the LSE, but its bid was rejected by shareholders in February.
Nasdaq will now focus on trying to buy Nordic exchange operator OMX.
The New York-based exchange is battling Borse Dubai for OMX, which has exchanges in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland and the Baltic nations.
Nasdaq, which bought its shares of the LSE over a number of months at an average of about £11 each, could make paper profit of more than $240m.
The US exchange said that it would use $1bn of proceeds of any sale of LSE shares to pay off debt, and the rest to buy back shares.
LSE shares ended 2.4% higher at 1301p, with analysts speculating that the sale of such a large stake could renew bid interest in the exchange.