FRANKFURT, May 22 (Reuters) - Deutsche Boerse Chief Executive Carsten Kengeter's defence team is negotiating with prosecutors to drop an insider trading investigation against him, German daily Handelsblatt reported on Monday.
In return, the German stock exchange operator may face a fine for delaying the announcement of its plans to merge with the London Stock Exchange, the report said.
Such a deal could still take several weeks, said Handelsblatt, which cited multiple unnamed sources.
Neither Deutsche Boerse nor the Frankfurt prosecutor's office was immediately available for comment.
Kengeter has previously denied the insider trading allegations, saying he did not determine the timing of his share purchases ahead of the announcement of merger plans with the London Stock Exchange.
The plan to combine the stock exchanges, however, was later struck down by European regulators, who said the deal - the pair's fifth attempt to merge - would result in a monopoly in the processing of bond trades.
Last week, Kengeter said he and Deutsche Boerse were fully cooperating with the public prosecutor's office in the insider trading probe.
"I am certain that, following detailed investigation, the allegations will turn out to be unfounded," he said at the company's annual general meeting. (Reporting by Tom Sims, additional reporting by Hans Seidenstuecker; Editing by Himani Sarkar)