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EU Conditionally Approves LSE's $27 Bln Acquisition Of Refinitiv

The European Commission has conditionally approved London Stock Exchange Group plc's (LSE.L) $27 billion acquisition of Refinitiv. The approval is conditional on full compliance with a commitments package offered by LSEG.

It was in August 2019 that the LSEG agreed to acquire Refinitiv in an all share transaction for a total enterprise value of about $27 billion.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said Wednesday, "..Today, we can approve the proposed acquisition of Refinitiv by LSEG because LSEG offered commitments that will ensure that the markets will remain open and competitive and the acquisition will not lead to higher prices or less choice and innovation for these products."

To address the Commission's competition concerns, LSEG offered to divest its 99.9% stake in the Borsa Italiana group; continue offering its global OTC IRD clearing services performed by LCH Swapclear on an open access basis; provide access to the LSE venue data, FTSE UK Equity Indices, and WM/R FX Benchmarks to all existing and future downstream competitors.

London Stock Exchange said that the transaction remains subject to a small number of merger control and financial regulatory authority approvals. The deal is expected to complete shortly in the first-quarter 2021.

Separately, Euronext NV (ENXB.BE,ENX.BR,ENX.AS,ENX.PA) acknowledged that the European Commission has conditionally approved London Stock Exchange Group's proposed acquisition of Refinitiv.

Euronext said that the European Commission's approval further improves the certainty of execution of Euronext's contemplated acquisition of the Borsa Italiana Group by satisfying one of the major conditions for the completion of the transaction.

In October 2020, Euronext agreed to acquire London Stock Exchange Group Holdings Italia S.p.A., the holding company of the Borsa Italiana Group, from London Stock Exchange Group for a cash consideration of 4.325 billion euros.

Euronext said Wednesday that the contemplated acquisition of the Borsa Italiana Group by Euronext is still subject to regulatory approvals in several jurisdictions. Euronext expects to complete the transaction in the first half of 2021.

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