Who will buy Borsa Italiana?

IN AN AUCTION, the highest bidder usually walks away with the asset on sale. Yet considerations that are not purely commercial are likely to determine who wins the London Stock Exchange’s auction of Borsa Italiana. The LSE is selling the Italian stock exchange in order to ensure regulatory approval of its takeover of Refinitiv, a financial-data provider that it agreed to buy last year for $27bn. The bidder least likely to upset European politicians and regulators seems likely to prevail, rather than the one offering the most dosh.

There are three suitors on the scene. The highest bidder is reportedly Switzerland’s SIX, a Zürich-based stock exchange which brings a big war chest and a strong credit rating to the party. (A spokesman for SIX did not confirm the offer.) The mooted price is €3.4bn ($4bn)—and could go higher. Deutsche Börse, Germany’s main stock exchange, made a non-binding offer to buy Borsa Italiana on September 11th. Euronext followed suit with its offer on September 14th. The Paris-based exchange, which has already hoovered up bourses in Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Lisbon and Oslo, has teamed up with Cassa Depositi e Prestiti Equity (CDP), a bank controlled by the Italian state that invests the country’s postal savings, and Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy’s biggest bank, to buy Borsa.

The LSE has owned both the…

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top