LSEG weighs possible MTS or Borsa Italiana sale

On the 07/31/20 at 10:38AM


Adrien Paredes-Vanheule

“There can be no certainty that LSEG will decide to proceed with a transaction relating to either of these businesses,” said the London stock exchange operator.

At the occasion of the publication of its first half 2020 results, London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) on Friday provided an update regarding the acquisition of global financial data provider Refinitiv from a Blackstone-led consortium for $27bn (€24bn). The deal is currently being investigated by the European Commission which is due to take a decision upon it by 27 October 2020.

LSEG said it still expects to close the Refinitiv transaction by year-end or early in 2021. It also confirmed that the United States Department of Justice has closed its antitrust investigation of the transaction without remedies. “LSEG has received a number of other antitrust and foreign investment approvals and continues to make progress in relation to the remaining clearances and approvals upon which the Transaction is also conditional,” it added.

Furthermore, LSEG said it started 'exploratory discussions' which may result in a sale of its interest in MTS or potentially the Borsa Italiana group as a whole. “There can be no certainty that LSEG will decide to proceed with a transaction relating to either of these businesses.”

Net operating profit up 8% yoy

As of end June 2020, the British stock exchange operator's adjusted operating profit amounted to £575m, up 8% year-on-year. Revenue grew 4% yoy to £1.06bn. LSEG's operating expenses reached £537m in the first six months of the year (vs. £494m in H1'19). 

The index and ETF business of LSEG, FTSE Russell, observed a 5% yoy increase to £330m, and 3% on a constant currency basis. “Subscription revenue grew 8% to £218m, while asset-based revenue was flat at £112 million despite a considerable drop in AuM values due to market volatility during the period. ETF AuM benchmarked to FTSE Russell indices at the end of the period fell by 3% to $669bn compared to the end of H1 2019, but up 15% from the end of Q1 2020 as the market recovered,” explained LSEG. Regarding its real time data activity, which will increase strongly if the Refinitiv deal goes ahead, its revenue soared 8% yoy with new business of £52m.