The London Stock Exchange Group PLC (LSEG) yesterday said that it could sell the Milan Stock Exchange to win approval from Brussels for its planned purchase of US financial data provider Refinitiv.
The company revealed in a results statement that it is exploring the sale of its shareholding in MTS SpA, an Italian electronic trading platform that specializes in European government bonds, as well as its Borsa Italiana division.
A year ago, the London Stock Exchange Group unveiled a blockbuster US$27 billion takeover of Refinitiv in a move intended to create a market information giant to rival US titan Bloomberg.
“The European Commission commenced a Phase II merger review in June of the proposed acquisition of Refinitiv,” the London Stock Exchange Group said in yesterday’s statement. “As part of this process, the group has commenced exploratory discussions which may result in a sale of LSEG’s interest in MTS or potentially the Borsa Italiana group as a whole. The group expects to complete the transaction by the end of the year or in early 2021.”
In October last year, the London Stock Exchange Group successfully fended off a multibillion-dollar takeover bid from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, saying that it was focused on the landmark Refinitiv deal.
Refinitiv would help LSEG shift from generating revenue solely from the trading of securities to providing investors information about trading, which would put it in direct competition with Bloomberg.
The transformational Refinitiv deal was unveiled in August last year, two years after LSEG’s failed ￡21 billion (US$27.56 billion) merger with Germany’s Deutsche Boerse AG.
That proposal — the third failed attempt at a merger between the British and German stock exchange operators — was blocked by the European Commission on competition fears.
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