ROME/LONDON, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Italy’s Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri held talks over the future of Borsa Italiana with Euronext Chief Executive Stephane Boujnah in a private meeting in Rome on Sept. 9, two sources told Reuters.
The discussions focused on the terms of a joint bid between Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and French stock market operator Euronext for the Milan Bourse, the sources said.
Rome is keen to see the Euronext consortium prevail in negotiations with owner the London Stock Exchange, which has set a Sept. 11 deadline for non-binding offers, they said.
Euronext’s proposal would see CDP take a stake of around 8% in the French exchange, equalling that held by French state investor Caisse des Depots et Consignations, the sources said.
Euronext has also offered Italy two seats on its managing board to address Rome’s demand to have a say over Borsa’s strategy in the future, the sources said.
Boujnah is also prepared to give Italy representatives at all governance levels as well as the ability to appoint its supervisory board chairman, who oversees the activity of the managing board, one of the sources said.
Italy’s Treasury and Euronext declined to comment.
Swiss stock exchange Six is also planning to launch a bid for Borsa and is hoping to lure Rome with a proposal that would give it some form of strategic independence by keeping its management team, brand and autonomy, two separate sources said.
Six became Europe’s third largest stock exchange operator by revenues after completing a 2.57 billion euro takeover of Spanish rival BME earlier this year.
Deutsche Boerse is also expected to enter the race after failing to buy the Milan exchange in 2007 when LSE took control, the sources said.
While LSE will review the offers and shortlist the final bidders, the Italian Treasury is playing kingmaker and will use its “golden power” legislation to block any unwanted takeover of Borsa, deemed a key asset by Italian lawmakers.
Six and Deutsche Boerse declined to comment. (Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte in Rome and Pamela Barbaglia in London; Additional reporting by Oliver Hirt in Zurich, Maya Nikolaeva in Paris and Tom Sims in Frankfurt; Editing by Jan Harvey and Alexander Smith)
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