Euronext and Italy's CDP confirm talks to bid for Borsa Italiana

MILAN/PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) - Euronext ENX.PA and Italy's Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) confirmed on Friday they were in talks to make a joint bid for Borsa Italiana, as Germany's Deutsche Boerse submitted a rival offer and one from Swiss exchange Six was expected.

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The London Stock Exchange (LSE) LSE.L, which bought the Milan-based stock exchange in 2007 for 1.6 billion euros ($1.9 billion), is now trying to sell it as part of antitrust remedies to help get its $27 billion takeover of Refinitiv over the line.

Data provider Refinitiv is 45% owned by Thomson Reuters TRI.TOTRI.N, which is the parent company of Reuters News.

Pan-European exchange Euronext and CDP will face competition from Deutsche Boerse DB1Gn.DE and Six, which was planning its own bid for Borsa Italiana, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The three bids were all expected to land on Friday, meeting an initial deadline set by LSE, a fourth source said.

The LSE has already received separate bids for Borsa’s bond trading platform MTS and will need to decide whether it wants to break up Borsa or opt for an outright sale, this source said.

The LSE and Six declined to comment.

The Italian Treasury is playing kingmaker as so-called golden power legislation means it can block any unwanted takeover of Borsa, deemed a key asset by Italian lawmakers.

“Rome is an important part of the discussions. LSE will do everything to keep Rome happy. But it won’t sell Borsa on the cheap,” the fourth source said.

The Italian government is firmly against a breakup of Borsa and wants to have a say over its future strategy and management, several sources have said.

Deutsche Boerse said it was offering “a high value” for developing “an autonomous Borsa Italiana”.

Reuters reported on Thursday that Euronext had granted CDP significant influence in the combined business to secure an alliance with the Italian state agency.

CDP is set to take a stake of around 8% in Euronext, equalling that held by French state investor Caisse des Depots et Consignations, sources have said.

($1 = 0.8427 euros)

Reporting by Valentina Za in Milan, Matthieu Protard in Paris and Pamela Barbaglia in London; additional writing by Tom Sims in Frankfurt; Editing by James Mackenzie, David Clarke and Alexander Smith