The U.S.-based electronic stock exchange NASDAQ has announced plans to purchase Swedish-based stock exchange operator OMX AB.

The two companies announced NASDAQ's $3.7 billion stock-and-cash offer for OMX Friday.

NASDAQ is the largest electronic stock market in the United States. OMX operates seven stock exchanges in the Nordic and Baltic countries.

It is the first European acquisition for NASDAQ, which had failed in an attempt to purchase the London Stock Exchange in November of 2006.

The new group will be called The NASDAQ OMX group and will be based in New York. The acquisition is subject to shareholder approval, which is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter of this year.

The deal comes less than two months after the New York Stock Exchange's acquisition of Euronext NV, which operates stock markets in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon. NYSE Euronext is now the world's largest financial market.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.