A consortium of financial services companies led by Instinet Corp., has signed a letter of intent to pay $22.4 million for a 54% interest in Tradepoint Financial Networks PLC.

The investment consortium includes J.P. Morgan; Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co.; American Century, a Kansas City-based mutual fund; and Archipelago, an electronic communications network that is backed by Goldman Sachs & Co and E-Trade Group.

Tradepoint, which competes with the London Stock Exchange, was formed in 1996 as a for-profit electronic exchange.

Instinet, a subsidiary of Reuters Group PLC, acts as an intermediary for institutional buyers and sellers of securities.

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