Euronext Prepares $4 Billion Bid for Borsa Italiana

This content was published on September 11, 2020 - 16:30

(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Boerse AG has submitted an offer for exchange operator Borsa Italiana SpA, pitting it against a joint bid from Italian state-backed lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA and France’s Euronext NV.

The German exchange said in a statement late Friday that it was “offering a high value for the future growth and development of an autonomous Borsa Italiana Group, thereby strengthening its crucial role for the Italian economy and the European capital markets.”

It followed confirmation earlier Friday from Euronext and CDP of their offer. Their bid is set to value Borsa Italiana, owned by London Stock Exchange Group Plc, at as much as 4 billion euros ($4.7 billion), people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. CDP would get about 8% of Euronext in the deal, they said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

SIX Group AG, owner of the Swiss stock exchange, has also been considering a bid, according to one of the people.

Italy last month extended market watchdog Consob’s veto powers to cover sales or purchases of stakes of more than 10% in Borsa Italiana. Consob can oppose any transaction based on the “financial solidity” of the acquisition plan, the decree states.

Euronext said in a separate statement Friday that it’s in discussions with CDP to submit an offer “for the acquisition of the business and key operational assets of Borsa Italiana.” The deadline to submit non-binding bids for Borsa may have been postponed to Sept. 14, newswire Il Sole 24 Ore Radiocor Plus reported late Thursday.

Borsa Italiana is seen as a strategic asset in Italy because of its ownership of MTS SpA, a platform used to trade government bonds. Milan-based bank Intesa Sanpaolo SpA may join Euronext’s bidding group and get a stake in the continental bourse owner as part of the deal, Bloomberg News reported last month.

“My hope is that Borsa Italiana will find its strategic place within the euro zone’s single market, with industrial and financial partners that can sustain and reinforce, in the best possible way, the project of a European capital markets union,” Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri said earlier this week.

Euronext operates stock markets in cities including Amsterdam, Oslo and Paris. Earlier this year it missed out on buying Bolsas y Mercados Espanoles SHMSF SA after the Spanish exchange agreed to be taken over by SIX.

(Updates with Deutsche Boerse bid from first paragraph)

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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