Maple Group extends bid for TMX
Will buy Alpha Trading Systems and Canadian Depository for Securities
A group of financial institutions looking to buy the company that owns the Toronto Stock Exchange has extended its offer until the end of July to allow for time to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals.
Maple Group Acquisition Corp's $3.8-billion bid for TMX Group was set to expire at 5 p.m. ET Monday. Shortly after that deadline passed, a release from Maple Group said it would again extend its takeover proposal.
Members of Maple Group consortium
Maple Group, which represents a consortium of 13 banks, pension plans and insurance companies, has been trying to buy the TSX since the parent company of the London Stock Exchange launched a takeover bid for Canada's largest stock exchange in early 2011. The LSE deal eventually failed because of lukewarm shareholder support, leaving Maple as the only suitor.
Last Friday, Maple said it could extend its bid beyond Monday if it was satisfied with the progress of the regulatory process. The Competition Bureau had earlier indicated it had serious concerns about the deal's structure. But last week, Maple said the bureau indicated its concerns could be "substantially mitigated" by changes proposed by the Ontario Securities Commission.
In addition to extending its takeover offer, Maple announced Monday it was buying the Canadian Depository for Securities for $167.5 million, and Alpha Trading Systems Inc. and a related limited partnership for $175 million.
Alpha operates an alternative trading system. It was set up in 2007 by nine major Canadian financial organizations. The Canadian Depository for Securities provides clearing, depository and settlement services for approximately 6,000 exchange trades per day.
"These agreements are important milestones in our effort to realize our vision for a stronger and more globally competitive exchange and clearing organization," said Maple Group spokesman Luc Bertrand in a release. "We remain focused on securing the regulatory approvals required to complete the proposed transactions and deliver significant benefits to participants in Canada's capital markets."
Maple needs regulatory approvals to merge TMX with Alpha and CDS, which are owned by the major players in the Canadian securities industry, several of which are part of the consortium.
With files from The Canadian Press