London Stock Exchange

Headland Consultancy is fronting Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd.'s $37B bid to buy the London Stock Exchange, a transaction that it claims would create “a global market infrastructure leader.”

HKEC pitches the deal as a platform to connect the “established financial markets in the West with the emerging markets in the East, particularly in China.”

CEO Charles Li says it would join “businesses with great brands, financial strength and proven track records” and “redefine capital markets for decades to come.”

LSE chief David Schwimmer, a former Goldman Sachs executive, called the HKEC proposal “preliminary and highly conditional.” His board will mull the offer and “make a further announcement in due course.”

The LSE is in the midst of its own mega-deal, a $30B offer to buy Refinitiv data and trading outfit.

Mike Smith, former Finsbury UK CEO, Brunswick partner and Financial Times reporter, is working the deal for London-based Headland.

He’s joined by former Tulchan Communications partners Susanna Voyle and Stephen Malthouse.