Competition authorities in Brussels officially approved the merger on Wednesday after accepting concessions made by the LSE, including the British group’s decision to sell Borsa Italiana, owner of the Milan Stock Exchange, and a major debt trading platform European sovereign, according to people with direct knowledge of the subject.
Margrethe Vestager, the Executive Vice President for Competition at the European Commission, has personally given the green light, and an announcement is imminent, the people said.
Driven by concerns that the merger would stifle competition over sovereign debt and data, Brussels launched an in-depth investigation into the matter eight months ago.
The LSE, which is still best known as the owner of the UK stock exchange, but which also has one of the largest clearing houses in the world, has pledged to maintain the separation of the trading and clearing of interest rate derivatives. of interest.
LSE first entered the Refinitiv deal in August 2019, when it was applauded by shareholders who believe it will allow the company to compete with larger rivals such as CME Group, Intercontinental Exchange, S&P Global and Bloomberg by providing everything from data services to clearing.
U.S. antitrust watchdogs signed the deal last year, while those in Singapore are still reviewing it. Investors and analysts have long viewed getting the green light from Brussels as the last major hurdle to a merger that is expected to deliver more than $ 1.1 billion in salaries to the advisers who worked there.
The pandemic has added to the lengthy legal process in Brussels. Refinitiv is sold by a private equity consortium led by Blackstone, which will own a 37% stake in the combined group once the transaction is completed.