Posted on Oct 8, 2020 at 2:08 p.m.Updated Oct 8, 2020 2:15 PM
The epilogue seems imminent, in the case of the sale of Borsa Italiana. According to sources familiar with the matter, the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) – owner of the Milan Stock Exchange – will meet its board on Thursday. On the agenda: the study of the offer to purchase formulated by Euronext, after three weeks of exclusive negotiations. And he could deliver his answer in the evening or on Friday.
Euronext, which was preferred to SIX and Deutsche Börse – has allied itself with the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti – the Italian Caisse des Dépôts, as well as the largest transalpine bank Intesa Sanpaolo. Their offer would value Borsa Italiana 4.5 billion euros including debt, according to the Bloomberg agency.
Decision time may seem quick. But Euronext is very familiar with the matter, which it has already studied in the past. And LSEG is in a hurry. The sale of Borsa Italiana is intended to appease the European competition authorities. These opened an in-depth investigation into its own merger with Refinitiv to give birth to a market data giant. The two groups hope to be able to unite before the end of the year.
This transaction would allow Euronext to change dimension. The new group would welcome on its markets nearly a quarter of share transactions in Europe, and would list 28 of the 50 companies that make up the Euro Stoxx 50 index. Above all, the Italian group has the services that have so far been lacking in its future buyer. First, the electronic bond exchange platform MTS, which would allow it to finally gain a foothold in the “fixed income” sector.
The pan-European operator would also expand in the post-market sector, in particular thanks to the CC&G clearing house. Unlike all its major competitors, the pan-European operator does not have its “clearing house”. An anomaly which would thus end.
Italy would thus become the first country to contribute to Euronext’s activity. A place so far devolved to France, which accounts for around 40% of the group’s turnover. Cassa Depositi e Prestiti should take around 8% of the pan-European operator – at the same level as the French deposit fund – and Intesa Sanpaolo a stake equivalent to that of BNP Paribas, around 2%.