The buyout of Atlantia (ATL.MI) will cut another 19 billion euros ($19.5 billion) from the value of the Milan bourse and bring to 12 the number of companies to leave the stock exchange this year, fuelling fears about its standing.
Legislators and regulators want to reverse the trend and reinforce the role of the 200-year-old Borsa Italiana at the heart of Italian business.
Barbara Lunghi, head of equity listings Italy at market owner Euronext, argues the scrutiny of being a listed business and having external investors pushes businesses to innovate and develop.
“It gives companies that extra gear that helps to drive growth,” Lunghi said.
But the problem has deep roots, with many of Italy’s family-run businesses unwilling to relinquish control by listing their businesses unless they need cash for M&A or other expansion strategies.
Market watchdog Consob approved measures this year to simplify procedures for the approval of IPO prospectuses, including allowing them to be submitted in English.
Also aiming to accelerate change, Italy this year started to study how to overhaul its listing, voting and other rules to address the issues holding back the country’s capital markets – though this process was frozen by a change in government after a right-wing coalition won elections at the end of September.