UPDATE 1-Italy's Intesa joins Euronext consortium for Borsa Italiana bid – sources
By Giuseppe Fonte and Pamela Barbaglia
ROME/LONDON, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Intesa Sanpaolo has entered a consortium formed by French stock exchange operator Euronext and Italian state lender CDP to make a joint offer for Borsa Italiana ahead of a Sept. 11 bid deadline, two sources told Reuters.
It comes after Italy’s Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri held talks over the future of the Milan Bourse with Euronext Chief Executive Stephane Boujnah in a private meeting in Rome on Wednesday.
Rome is keen to see the Euronext consortium prevail in negotiations with the London Stock Exchange, which took control of Borsa in 2007 and is now trying to sell it as part of the regulatory remedies to clear its $27 billion acquisition of data provider Refinitiv.
Intesa Sanpaolo, Euronext and the Italian Treasury declined to comment.
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 – while Intesa could get a smaller stake of about 2%, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
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 same sources said.
Boujnah is prepared to give Italy representatives at all governance levels as well as the ability to appoint Euronext’s supervisory board chairman, who oversees the activity of the managing board, one of the sources said.
Swiss stock exchange Six and Deutsche Boerse are also planning to launch rival bids for the Milan Bourse, with Six hoping to lure Rome with a proposal that would give Borsa 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 ($3.05 billion)takeover of Spanish rival BME earlier this year.
But 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. ($1 = 0.8414 euros) (Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte in Rome and Pamela Barbaglia in London; additional reporting by Valentina Za, Elvira Pollina and Elisa Anzolin in Milan; Editing by Susan Fenton)
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