Pan-European exchange Euronext and Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) confirmed today they were in talks to buy the Milan stock exchange Borsa Italiana.
Euronext said in a statement it would make a further announcement as and when appropriate.
Euronext operates stock exchanges in Dublin, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, London and Lisbon.
In a separate statement, CDP said it had decided to submit a non-binding bid jointly with Euronext for Borsa Italiana.
The Milan stock exchange has been put on the block by the London Stock Exchange, which acquired it in 2007 and is now trying to sell as part of competition remedies to clear its $27 billion acquisition of data provider Refinitiv.
Sources told Reuters that Euronext had granted CDP significant influence in the combined business to secure an alliance with the Italian state agency in the competition for Borsa Italiana.