Urbana buys portion of Canadian exchange operator CNSX

Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:20pm EST
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO (Reuters) - Financial investment company Urbana Corp (URB.TO: Quote) said on Monday it is seeking to acquire up to 49 percent of CNSX Markets Inc, in hopes of growing the operator of the Canadian National Stock Exchange and Pure Trading.

Urbana said it bought a 20 percent stake in CNSX for C$1.6 million ($1.63 million).

"There was an opportunity here that they could use some refinancing. Also we felt that we have some experience within the exchange space and it was something we felt we could offer them ... in terms of overall strategic direction," said Urbana's chairman, veteran exchanges investor Thomas Caldwell.

"We want to rebrand this company, develop its product range and really come at this with a pretty aggressive, enthusiastic palette of products," Caldwell told Reuters.

Toronto-based Urbana said that CNSX shareholders voted in favor of Urbana's offer to buy 4 million common CNSX shares for C$0.40 a share.

CNSX investors also approved a plan to issue an additional 4 million common shares to existing CNSX stakeholders for C$0.40 a share, with Urbana agreeing to buy any unpurchased shares.

Urbana, which owns stock in a number of stock exchanges around the world, will also buy an undetermined amount of CNSX stock from current shareholders for C$0.30 a share until December 27.

The two transactions together will entitle Urbana to own up to 49 percent of privately held CNSX.   Continued...