The London Stock Exchange has agreed to sell Borsa Italiana to rival Euronext for €4.3 billion. The sale will clear the way for LSE's purchase of financial data provider Refinitiv.
Borsa Italiana, which operates the Milan stock exchange and government bond trading platform MTS, was put up for sale in order to assuage European competition concerns about LSE's $27 billion acquisition of Blackstone-backed Refinitiv. The latter controls MTS rival Tradeweb, leading to concerns that the LSE would have too much control of the bond market. Antitrust regulators launched a full-scale investigation in June and have a Dec. 16 deadline to reach a verdict. The sale is contingent on the Refinitiv deal being approved.
Euronext, which owns several European stock exchanges, began exclusive talks last month for the business after fighting off competing bids from Deutsche Boerse and Switzerland's Six. The deal will see Italian investors Intesa Sanpaolo and CDP Equity become shareholders in Euronext, providing €700 million in new equity to help finance the acquisition. With Borsa Italiana, Euronext will become the No. 1 listing venue in Europe, operating exchanges with more than 1,800 listed companies and an aggregate market value of around €4.4 trillion.