Pan-European stock market operator Euronext and Germany's Deutsche Boerse on Friday announced rival offers to try to buy Milan's Borsa Italiana, setting the stage for a bidding war.

Switzerland's SIX is also reportedly considering joining the race for the Milan stock exchange.

Euronext was the first to show its hand, saying it was teaming up with Italian lender CDP to submit a joint bid for Milan's Borsa Italiana.

Euronext -- which operates the exchanges of Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Lisbon, Oslo and Paris -- said in a statement that it was "currently in discussions with Cassa Depositi e Prestiti to submit an offer to London Stock Exchange Group plc for the acquisition of the business and key operational assets of Borsa Italiana".

"A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate," the Paris-based company said.

According to Bloomberg, the joint bid values Borsa Italiana at 3.5-4.0 billion euros ($4.2-4.7 billion).

And CDP would get around eight percent of Euronext under the terms of the deal, Bloomberg said.

Later on Friday, German stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse released a statement after markets closed stating that "Deutsche Boerse has submitted a bid for Borsa Italiana Group".

The statement did not provide any financial details.

"As a global player, we are offering a high value for the future growth and development of an autonomous Borsa Italiana Group, thereby strengthening its crucial role for the Italian economy and the European capital markets," the DAX 30 owner added.

Euronext had said at the start of the year that it might be interested in Borsa Italiana
Euronext had said at the start of the year that it might be interested in Borsa Italiana AFP / Damien MEYER

The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) said in July that it was prepared to sell its Borsa Italiana subsidiary in order to win approval by the EU Commission of its planned purchase of US financial data provider Refinitiv.

Euronext chief Stephane Boujnah had said at the start of the year that his company could be interested if LSEG were willing to sell.

Euronext has been on a shopping spree recently, buying the Danish Central Securities Depository, VP Securities, last month to expand its Nordic footprint.

It also acquired the Scandinavian electricity exchange Nord Pool in January and the Oslo Stock Exchange in June 2019.

By contrast, it decided not to buy the Madrid stock exchange, which was eventually snapped up Swiss operator SIX.

In Italy, state-owned CDF confirmed it was "proceeding jointly with Euronext to submit a non-binding bid for Borsa Italiana".

Italian news agency Radiocor, quoting sources familiar with the matter, said the deadline for bids had been set back until September 14.

Rome has said all offers will be examined closely by the government and the regulatory authorities.

Economy and finance minister Roberto Gualtieri said he hoped Borsa Italiana would "find its strategic place within the single market and the eurozone, with industrial and financial partners able to support and strengthen in the project for a single capital market at a European level".