German Stock Exchange has to And the Dream of Italy

That was probably the hope of German Stock Exchange Weimer (60) to continue growing in Italy. With care and caution, he had made an offer to take over Borsa Italiana. He wanted to use the opportunity to finally catch up with the major stock exchange operators. But nothing will come of it for now.

The London stock exchange LSE, to whose large family the Italian subsidiary belongs, is starting exclusive talks with the European exchange operator Euronext about a possible sale. The LSE announced this on Friday in London. In the bidding race, the Dax group Deutsche Börse and the recently also interested Swiss Exchange Six are left behind.

For Weimer, the takeover would have been the biggest deal since he took over in January 2018. “Nothing will change in the growth strategy we have formulated in the Roadmap 2020,” the company said. It is well positioned to grow on its own and through acquisitions. Weimer had emphasized several times that takeovers were also the core of his new strategy. The roughly four billion euro takeover of Borsa would have been a rare opportunity. According to information from manager magazin, Weimer had proposed a construction that was as reserved as possible. The offer stipulated that, in extreme cases, the Frankfurt-based company would only hold 51 percent of Borsa Italiana. The remaining up to 49 percent should go to Italian shareholders. In any case, the Germans were only given outsider opportunities.

The competition is fierce worldwide, and margins in securities trading have been under pressure for years. There have been repeated attempts to merge the LSE and the German Stock Exchange in the past, most recently in 2017. The Londoners now want to swallow the data provider Refinitiv for 27 billion dollars and become more independent from fluctuating trade. Due to antitrust regulations in the mega-deal, the LSE began talks in July about the sale of the MTS platform or the entire Italian stock exchange operator.