London Stock Exchange Group, which owns the London and Milan exchanges, said Tuesday that it was in merger talks with Deutsche Boerse about creating a pan-European titan.
Following a sharp jump in LSE Group's share price, "the Board of LSE and the Management Board of Deutsche Boerse confirm that they are in detailed discussions about a potential merger of equals of the two businesses", a statement said.
It added that the talks were about "creating a leading European-based global markets infrastructure group" that "would be expected to deliver an enhanced ability to provide a full service offering to customers on a global basis".
With rumours swirling that talks were ongoing, LSE's share price surged by about 14 percent in London trading. Once LSE put out a statement, its share price surged further and was up almost 20 percent in early afternoon deals.
Deutsche Boerse won nearly 8.0 percent in Frankfurt.
"Although negotiations seem to be at a very early stage, a tie-up would make sense in regard to possibly synergies and overall improvement of competitiveness versus their main rivals," Markus Huber, analyst at stockbroker City of London Markets, told AFP.