MILAN, Italy, (Reuters) – The Qatari Investment Authority is considering teaming up with three Italian partners to win over Nasdaq’s , 31 percent stake in the London Stock Exchange, Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported.
Italian bank foundation Ente Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which controls Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the Cariplo foundation, a shareholder in Intesa Sanpaolo, and Italian privaty equity fund Clessidra are preparing an offer for the Nasdaq stake, Il Sole reported on Sunday.
“The fund is ready to have a dialogue with the Italian consortium that is preparing the offer,” a source close to the Qatari fund was quoted as saying in the Italian paper.
Representatives of the Qatari have indicated a willingness to pay as much as 15 pounds a share for Nasdaq’s 31 percent stake in the LSE, the Sunday Times reported earlier this month. The Financial Times has also said the Qatari fund was bidding. LSE shares closed on Friday at 13.50 pounds.
Since Nasdaq announced plans to sell its stake, media reports have speculated that Deutsche Boerse , Borse Dubai , ASX and Singapore’s Temasek all were interested buyers, but each has distanced itself from the notion either publicly or privately.
A source at the banking foundation that controls Italian bank Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena told Reuters at the end of August that Nasdaq had approached the foundation for a possible sale of its LSE interest.
Angelo Tantazzi, chairman of Italy’s stock exchange and London Stock Exchange partner Borsa Italiana, said on Sunday he was not aware of the Qatari offer for the LSE stake.
“I am part of Borsa Italiana management. The relationship betwen seller and buyers are not within our remit,” he told Reuters asked about a possible interest from a Qatari fund.
Borsa Italiana accepted a takeover offer by the LSE earlier this year.