February 12, 2020 / 6:04 PM / 9 days ago

Euronext says still analyzing whether to bid for Madrid bourse

LONDON/MADRID (Reuters) - Pan-European stock market operator Euronext (ENX.PA) won’t decide on whether to make a counter-bid for the Madrid bourse until it has to, Euronext boss Stephane Boujnah said on Wednesday.

The logo of stock market operator Euronext is seen on Euronext headquarters at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie near Paris, France, November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Swiss exchange SIX made a friendly all-cash 2.84 billion euro ($3.09 billion) offer for Madrid bourse BME (BME.MC) in November.

Euronext said at the time it was also in talks with BME with a view to a potential bid, without saying how much it was prepared to bid.

“We are analyzing all the parameters that are relevant to the BME situation,” Boujnah told reporters on Wednesday.

“We are monitoring all the developments around that situation. We understand the Spanish authorities are reviewing the SIX proposal,” Boujnah said. “We will make a decision when we believe we have to make it.”

The bid by SIX is not expected to be approved by Spanish authorities before May, a source with knowledge of the process said.

SIX submitted all the paperwork required by Spanish authorities by February 11, giving the Spanish regulator 30 working days to issue a report, while the Spanish government has 60 working days to authorize the deal, the source added.

The Spanish government could set some conditions on the Swiss deal, requiring SIX to make revisions to its offer.

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Any counter offer by Euronext would have to be submitted five days before any revised SIX bid acceptance period expired. Other sources said Euronext is expected to wait until there is clarity on the fate of the Swiss offer.

Boujnah confirmed that he has met with Spanish authorities and regulators to discuss a potential bid.

Euronext’s chief financial officer Giorgio Modica said a bid for BME around the 3 billion euro mark could not be all in cash and would need an element of equity.

Boujnah also made a reference to the Milan Bourse saying Euronext would be interested in buying Borsa Italiana if it was up for sale.

He said Euronext was the “natural home” for Borsa Italiana which is owned by the London Stock Exchange (LSE), but the UK bourse has made it clear that its Italian operations are not for sale at the moment.

Euronext, which operates markets in six countries, would look “in a disciplined way” at any asset that would help Euronext diversify its revenue stream, Boujnah added.

The LSE is waiting for regulatory approval for its proposed $27 billion takeover of data and analytics company Refinitiv, a deal designed to broaden LSE’s trading business and make it a major distributor of market data.

Sources previously said it may need to sell some assets to win the blessing of EU competition authorities.

Reporting by Huw Jones in London and Jesus Aguado in Madri, Editing by Pamela Barbaglia, William Maclean

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