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The London Stock Exchange was founded in Sweeting's Alley in London in 1801. It moved to Capel Court the following year.
In 1972 the Exchange moved to a new purpose-built building and trading floor in Threadneedle Street. Deregulation, sometimes known as "big bang", came in 1986 and external ownership of member firms was allowed for the first time. In 1995 the Alternative Investment Market was launched and in 2004 the Exchange moved again, this time to Paternoster Square.
Between April and May 2006, having been rebuffed in an informal approach, Nasdaq built up a 23% stake in the Exchange. The stake grew to 29% as a result of the London exchange's share consolidation. Nasdaq has since sold its investment.
In 2007 the Exchange acquired the Milan-based Borsa Italiana for 1.6bn euro (£1.1bn; $2bn) to form the London Stock Exchange Group plc. The combination was intended to diversify the LSE's product offering and customer base. The all-share deal diluted the stakes of existing LSE shareholders, with Borsa Italiana shareholders receiving new shares representing 28 per cent of the enlarged register.
On 16 September 2009, the London Stock Exchange Group agreed to acquire Millennium Information Technologies, Ltd., a Sri Lankan-based software company specialising in trading systems, for US$30m (£18m). The acquisition was completed on 19 October 2009.
On 9 February 2011 TMX Group, operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange agreed to join forces with the London Stock Exchange Group in a deal described by TMX head Tom Kloet as a 'merger of equals' (though 8/15 board members of the combined entity will be appointed by LSE, 7/15 by TMX). The deal, subject to government approval would create the world's largest exchange operator for mining stocks. In the UK the LSE Group first announced it as a takeover, however in Canada the deal was reported as a merger. The provisional name for the combined group would be LTMX Group plc. On 13 June 2011, a rival, and hostile bid from the Maple Group of Canadian interests, was unveiled for the TMX Group. This was a cash and stock bid of $3.7 billion CAD, launched in the hope of blocking the LSE Group's takeover of TMX. The group was composed of the leading banks and financial institutions of Canada. The London Stock Exchange however announced it was terminating the merger with TMX on 29 June 2011 citing that "LSEG and TMX Group believe that the merger is highly unlikely to achieve the required two-thirds majority approval at the TMX Group shareholder meeting".
In July 2012, the LSE bought a 5% stake in Delhi Stock Exchange.
On 26 June 2014, the LSE announced it had agreed to buy Frank Russell Co., making it one of the largest providers of index services.
In January 2015, Reuters reported that the London Stock Exchange Group planned to put Russell Investments up for sale, and estimates the sale will produce $1.4 billion per unit.
In March 2016, the company announced it had reached an agreement with Deutsche Börse to merge. The companies will be brought under a new holding company, UK TopCo, and will retain both headquarters in London and Frankfurt. On 25 February 2017, the London Stock Exchange Group PLC stated it wouldn't sell its fixed-income trading platform in Italy to Deutsche Börse AG, to appease anti-trust concerns. The planned merger between the two exchanges, which was estimated to create the largest exchange in Europe, was subsequently described as "at risk" by the Wall Street Journal. The merger attempt was blocked by EU Competition Regulator on 29 March 2017 stating that "The Commission's investigation concluded the merger would have created a de facto monopoly in the markets for clearing fixed income instruments".
In August 2019, the company agreed to buy Refinitiv in an all-share transaction valuing the target at $27 billion. But shortly thereafter, on 11 September 2019, the LSE itself became the target of a £32 billion bid by the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing.
In April 2018, former Goldman Sachs banker David Schwimmer was hired as chief executive of the London Stock Exchange Group, replacing Xavier Rolet, who was ousted in November 2017. Schwimmer's most recent role at Goldman Sachs was serving as "global head of market structure and global head of metals and mining in investment banking".
Following the merger with Borsa Italiana, the group is Europe's leading equities business, with 48% of the FTSEurofirst 100 by market capitalisation and with the most liquid order book by value and volume traded. Its activities include:
London Stock Exchange: The London Stock Exchange is Europe's leading stock exchange and is owned by the London Stock Exchange Group plc.
Borsa Italiana: Borsa Italiana is Italy's leading stock exchange and is owned by the London Stock Exchange Group plc.
MillenniumIT: MillenniumIT was acquired by LSEG in 2009 as their technology service provider. It offers a trading platform known as Millennium Exchange and is available for use at most of the leading stock markets in the world.
Cassa di Compensazione e Garanzia ('CC&G'): CC&G provides central counterparty services. It was purchased along with Borsa Italiana in 2007.
Monte Titoli: Monte Titoli is the Italian Central Securities Depository for Italian issued financial instruments. It performs pre-settlement, settlement and custody services for its member participants. It was created in 1978 and acquired by the Borsa Italiana in 2002 before becoming part of the LSEG.
Turquoise: on 21 December 2009, the LSE agreed to take a 60% stake in rival trading platform Turquoise, which currently has a 7% share of the market. Turquoise will be merged with the LSE's trading facility Baikal Global.
LCH: on 3 April 2012, LSE and LCH shareholders voted overwhelmingly to take up to 60 percent of the clearing operator with an offer of 20 euros per share, which valued LCH at 813 million euros ($1.1 billion).
FTSE Russell: through its acquisition of the Frank Russell Company in 2015, London Stock Exchange Group combined FTSE Group with Russell Indexes to form FTSE Russell, now one of the largest index providers in the world.
Mergent: on 21 November 2016 LSEG announced plans to acquire Mergent Inc, provider of business and financial information on public and private companies.
The Yield Book and Citi Fixed Income Indices: on 30 May 2017 LSEG announced the acquisition of The Yield Book and Citi Fixed Income Indices, leading providers of fixed income analytics systems, for $685 million.
AAX: on 22 January, 2019, LSEG announced that its Millennium Exchange matching engine technology had been selected by digital asset exchange AAX, marking the first time its solutions are applied in the digital assets economy.