The London Stock Exchange Group said Friday that it has entered "exclusive" talks to sell Milan's Borsa Italiana to pan-European stock market operator Euronext.
Euronext, operator of the exchanges of Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Lisbon, Oslo and Paris, now has the edge over rival offers from Swiss exchange operator SIX Group and German giant Deutsche Boerse.
The LSEG has been exploring the sale of the Milan Stock Exchange, as well as its shareholding in MTS -- an Italian electronic trading platform that specialises in European government bonds -- as the group seeks EU approval for its long-planned purchase of US financial data provider Refinitiv.
"London Stock Exchange Group plc received and reviewed a number of competitive proposals from several parties for each of MTS and the Borsa Italiana group as a whole," it said in a brief statement on Friday.
"LSEG confirms it has now entered into exclusive discussions with Euronext N.V. in relation to the sale of the Borsa Italiana group.
"There can be no certainty that a transaction will result from these discussions and any potential sale will be dependent upon the outcome of the European Commission's review of the Refinitiv transaction and that transaction closing in accordance with its terms."
A further announcement will be made in due course, the company added in the official statement.
LSEG had unveiled a blockbuster $27-billion takeover of Refinitiv last year in a move that aims to create a market information giant to rival US titan Bloomberg.
Back in October 2019, the LSEG successfully fended off a multi-billion-dollar takeover bid from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, arguing that was focused on the landmark Refinitiv deal.
Refinitiv will help LSEG shift from generating revenue solely from the trading of securities to providing investors information about trading.
The transformational Refinitiv deal was unveiled in August 2019, two years after LSEG's failed £21-billion merger with Deutsche Boerse.
That proposal -- the third failed attempt at a tie-up between the British and German stock exchange operators -- was blocked by the European Commission on competition fears.