LSEG shareholders give go ahead for Borsa Italiana sale

The sale of LSEG’s Borsa Italiana business is dependent on approval from the European Commission on the exchange group's Refinitiv acquisition.

London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) shareholders have unanimously approved the sale of its Borsa Italiana business, as the exchange operator creeps towards completing its takeover of Refinitiv.

Results of the LSEG General Meeting, which took place on 3 November, saw 291,694,564 votes submitted in favour of the transaction versus 4,193 submitted against.

European exchange group Euronext has entered into a binding agreement with the LSEG to acquire the Milan-based stock exchange Borsa Italiana for €4.3 billion. The transaction is dependent on the European Commission’s approval of LSEG’s proposed $27 billion takeover of Refinitiv.

LSEG’s decision to sell Borsa Italiana business followed the news in June that the European Commission had begun a more in-depth investigation of the Refinitiv deal due to concerns it could dampen competition in trading and clearing.

The combination of LSEG’s MTS platform and Refinitiv’s Tradeweb 54% interest would significantly increase their market share in electronic trading of European government bonds, the Commission said. The move could reduce competition and make it more difficult for new platforms to enter the space.

LSEG expects the Borsa Italiana transaction to close in the first half of next year while it expects to complete the Refinitiv transaction in the first quarter.

The sale of Borsa Italiana is also conditional on the approval of Euronext’s shareholders and regulatory approvals and the LSEG said these processes are currently underway.