The london stock exchange group confirmed the sale of the milan stock exchange to euronext for more than 4bn, in a gambit to secure eu regulatory approval of its $27bn acquisition of data and trading group refinitiv.

The sale of borsa italiana will bring in 4.33bn and an additional amount reflecting cash generation to completion, lse said in a regulatory filing on friday.

Lse opted to divest the milanese stock exchange to fulfil one of the expected conditions to receive european commission clearance for its deal to acquire refinitiv, which would transform it into a global markets infrastructure and information powerhouse.

We believe the sale of the borsa italiana group will contribute significantly to addressing the eus competition concerns, said david schwimmer, chief executive of the lse.

For euronext, adding borsa italiana would expand its position as one of the most important owners of market infrastructure in europe, adding to its bourses in paris, amsterdam and dublin among others.

The two stock exchange providers began exclusive discussions last month after the lse chose to engage with euronexts offer ahead of rival bids for the milanese bourse from germanys deutsche brse and switzerlands six group.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021, before which lse hopes to wrap up the refinitiv deal. the sale will go through only if brussels requires the sale of borsa italiana as a condition of the refinitiv takeover.

Lse said it would use the proceeds from selling the milan stock exchange to help pay down its debt related to the refinitiv acquisition and for general corporate purposes.