Pan-European stock market operator Euronext has agreed to buy the Milan bourse from the London Stock Exchange (LSE) for 4.33 billion euros, the companies said Friday, October 9.
The LSE said previously it was considering a sale in order to meet European Union (EU) requirements that it divest assets in order to get approval for its $27-billion purchase of United States financial data provider Refinitiv.
Euronext will also acquire the Italian platform MTS which will give it access to the sovereign debt market.
Euronext head Stephane Boujnah said the deal marked a “decisive step” in its strategic plan to create a core of major capital markets in Europe.
Euronext already operates the stock exchanges of Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Lisbon, Oslo, and Paris.
In a statement, LSE said it expected its sale of Borsa Italiana was in any case going to be a condition for the Refinitiv transaction but added that the deal was valid on its own strategic and financial merits.
Additionally, the proceeds will help pay down debt incurred on the Refinitiv acquisition.
LSE chief executive David Schwimmer said “we are pleased to have reached this important milestone. We believe the sale…will contribute significantly to addressing the EU’s competition concerns.”
LSE unveiled plans to buy Refinitiv last year as it moves to create a market information giant to rival US giant Bloomberg.
Refinitiv will help LSE shift from generating revenue solely from the trading of securities to providing investors information about trading.
In October 2019, the LSE successfully fended off a multibillion-dollar takeover bid from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
The Refinitiv deal came two years after LSE’s failed £21-billion merger with Deutsche Boerse.
That proposal – the 3rd failed attempt at a tie-up between the British and German stock exchange operators – was blocked by the European Commission on competition fears. – Rappler.com
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