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Report: Numis founder in discussions to invest in NEX Exchange

British entrepreneur Oliver Hemsley is in advanced negotiations to make a capital investment in NEX Group PLC's NEX Exchange Ltd., the Financial Times reported March 22, citing "three parties familiar with the matter."

Numis Corp. PLC founder Hemsley, who retired from the company's board and from executive responsibilities in May 2017, is one of a number of bidders considering injecting funds into the exchange, according to the sources. The size of the investment is still being discussed, with Hemsley to take on a lead role in expanding the NEX unit. However, a deal may not be signed off for several weeks even if it is agreed, the sources added.

NEX Exchange was intended to be a legitimate rival to the London Stock Exchange Group's Alternative Investment Market but has just 85 listed companies, less than 10% of AIM's total, the Financial Times said.

NEX, formerly known as ICAP PLC, said it was in talks with a number of entities regarding a deal for them to invest new funds in the NEX Exchange, according to the Financial Times. The funds would be used to develop the business, with NEX retaining a "significant shareholding" in the exchange.

NEX itself has been the subject of acquisition interest from other parties, with CME Group Inc. confirming that it is weighing a bid to acquire the London-based electronic-trading company.