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Nasdaq Inc. is in talks to buy Chi-X Canada, an acquisition that would put it in direct competition with TMX Group Ltd.'s Toronto Stock Exchange, according to people familiar with the matter.

A deal valuing the company -- a division of Chi-X Global Holdings -- at about $100-million could be announced within the next two weeks, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn't public. The deal hasn't been finalized and could still fall through, this person said.

The owner of Chi-X Global retained Moelis & Co. to help explore a sale after receiving an unsolicited offer for the company, people familiar with the matter said in May. It also drew interest from Singapore Exchange Ltd., the people said at the time.

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Nomura Holdings Inc. is the controlling shareholder of Chi- X, which also runs stock markets in Australia and Japan. Other investors include JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., UBS Group AG, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to company statements.

Linda Recupero, a spokeswoman for Nasdaq, declined to comment, as did Moelis spokesman Ari Cohen. Tal Cohen, chief executive officer of Chi-X Global, and a representative for Nomura didn't respond to requests for comment.

Chi-X Canada runs a stock market that handled about 13 per cent of Canadian equity volume during the third quarter. Although that's dwarfed by TMX's approximately 70-per-cent share of trading, the transaction would give Nasdaq a beachhead in a $1.7-trillion market, the world's eighth-largest by market capitalization.

It also would strengthen an existing link between the U.S. and Canadian markets. Some corporations already trade on stock exchanges in both nations, including Nasdaq-listed companies like BlackBerry Ltd. and Pan American Silver Corp.

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