Confusion. Information from the Wall Street Journal suggests that LVMH requested the government’s support to withdraw from the acquisition of Tiffany, but that it rejected the request. The group has denied the existence of such a request. The case took an eminently political turn, since one of the reasons cited to justify the withdrawal of the buyback offer was the desire of French authorities to delay the deal until January pending negotiations with the U.S. on tariffs.
Euronext in pole position. The London Stock Exchange has decided to enter into exclusive negotiations with Euronext for the sale of all of Borsa Italiana, the operator of the Milan Stock Exchange, which also owns other entities including the CC&G clearing house and the MTS platform. The UK group says it has received several offers, either for MTS alone or for all of Borsa Italiana. The potential sale will depend on the decision of the European antitrust authorities on the LSE's takeover of Refinitiv. SIX and Deutsche Börse were also in the running. Euronext's alliance with the Italian CDP may have been decisive.
ByteDance counterattacks. ByteDance offers to list TikTok Global on the stock exchange, in addition to the agreement with Oracle and a possible participation of Walmart, to convince Washington to let the company continue its activities in the United States. A daring plan that could be a way out of this thorny issue. But will Donald Trump accept?
The merger is signed. The merger of Caixa Bank and Bankia was approved by the management of the two Spanish banks, with a parity of 0.6845 Caixa for 1 Bankia. The operation values Bankia at €4.3 billion and creates the largest banking group in Spain by assets (other banks are more important in the country, especially because of their international holdings). The completion of the merger is expected in the first quarter of 2021.
Macquarie is looking at Open Fiber. Enel has received a binding offer from Macquarie Infrastructure to acquire its 50% stake in the telecommunications company Open Fiber for €2.65bn excluding debt. The other shareholder of the broadband network operator is the Italian Caisse des Dépôts (CDP). The energy company's board of directors will now examine the proposal.
End of October, at best. Moderna's CEO believes that the results of the phase III study on its vaccine candidate Covid-19 will be available at the end of October, or more likely in November. In the vaccine race, Moderna is the most advanced company with AstraZeneca. Phase III clinical trials focus on the efficacy of treatments: vaccinology is a less randomized science than the rest of medical research, but it retains a significant amount of uncertainty.
A contender for Covestro. The Apollo Fund is eyeing the German plastics specialist Covestro, which Bayer had floated on the stock market in 2015, Bloomberg understands. Covestro currently weighs €8.15 billion on the stock exchange. The stock gained more than 6% in the off-season at 47.35 euros after the announcement.
In other news. The Boeing Company appoints Chief Strategy Officer Marc Allen. Ericsson acquires CradlePoint for $1.1 billion. Vifor Pharma sells its Geneva subsidiary OM Pharma to Optimus Holding for 435 MCHF. Unity Software is preparing to go public on Wall Street, while LoanDepot is also expected to be listed, but at an earlier stage. Apple sets out to conquer India on September 23 with the launch of its online store.