The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) will reportedly file its deal to buy Refinitiv for $27 billion with European Union (EU) antitrust authorities in the coming weeks.
According to a report from the Financial Times, which cites people with knowledge on the matter, the stock exchange company has long been in discussions with Brussels regarding the scope of its investigation into the merger.
Two people with knowledge of the talks told the news outlet that LSEG and Refinitiv are still in the process of working on the key issue of what constitutes “the market,” so the deal can be assessed against.
In order to minimize concerns that might be raised by rivals, it is better for companies to have a broad market definition. According to the sources, the LSE argued that Refinitiv is a data provider that competes with many rivals in a big market.
“An analysis on a potential merger like the one between the LSE and Refinitiv is very fact intensive,” said a person with direct knowledge of the transaction to the Finance Times.
“It is up to the companies to assess if they need to notify a transaction,” a European Commission spokesperson said.
As of yet, the companies have not formally notified Brussels fo the deal. When companies decide to merge, competition authorities assess the deal to ensure that customers won’t face fewer decisions. Because of this, large companies generally engage in talks with officials, to see what might need changing. Out of the lot, the EU competition authority is known to be one of the toughest.
The acquisition could be one of the biggest M&A deals in the intermediary sector this year and will see LSEG become a UK-headquartered, global rival to Bloomberg.
Refinitiv shareholders agreed on definitive terms with the LSEG back in August of last year. Under the deal, LSEG will acquire the company in an all-share transaction for around $27 billion.
Post-acquisition, Refinitiv’s CEO David Craig, will continue with his role. He will also join LSEG’s Executive Committee. LSEG’s Chairman Don Robert will chair the combined business, while David Schwimmer, LSEG’s CEO, will lead the new company with David Warren as LSEG’s Chief Financial Officer.
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