LSE''s 1.6 billion euro bid gets backing of Borsa Italinia board

The board of the Borsa Italiana SpA has accepted the offer by the London Stock Exchange Group PLC to acquire the Italian stock exchange for just over €1.6 billion, or $2.1 billion, beating out a rival preliminary offer from the New York Stock Exchange parent NYSE Euronext Inc., sources familiar with the matter said.

Further details will be made available through a press release at a later stage, sources said.

Borsa Italiana has authorized its chief executive Massimo Capuano to finalise the all-paper deal that values the Italian stock exchange at €1.6 billion.

The acquisition while giving LSE exposure to the fast-growing derivatives business, would also help ward off any future takeover attempts by Nasdaq Stock Market Inc., which has tried unsuccessfully to buy LSE twice and still holds about a 30 per cent stake in LSE.

Borsa Italiana board unanimously agreed to the takeover, people familiar with the matter said. However, a final deal needs approval by the LSE''s shareholders.

Borsa Italiana didn''t present a late indicative offer by NYSE Euronext to its board, although the offer was potentially valued at as much as €300 million more than LSE''s offer.