Maple Group adds four new partners to TMX bid
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO (Reuters) - Four more financial institutions have joined Maple Group Acquisition Corp's plan to mount a hostile bid for the TMX Group (X.TO: Quote) and top a friendly offer from the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE.L: Quote), the consortium of Canadian banks and pension funds said on Sunday.
Desjardins Financial Group, GMP Capital Inc (GMP.TO: Quote), Dundee Capital Markets DCM.TO and Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote) have agreed to join Maple's C$3.6 billion ($3.7 billion) bid for the operator of Canada's main bourse.
Maple Group, which takes its name from Canada's patriotic maple leaf symbol, says its offer is financially superior to the roughly US$3.4 billion all-stock bid from the London exchange and would keep ownership of the TMX within the country's borders.
The new partners would own 7 percent of the new entity, while the original pension funds' share would be reduced to 31 percent from 35 percent. The original banks' ownership would be cut to 22 percent from 25 percent. TMX Group investors would still own 40 percent.
Maple's original bank members are Toronto Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote), National Bank of Canada (NA.TO: Quote) and the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote).
Five pension funds also form part of the original group: Alberta Investment Management Corp, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Fonds de solidarite des travailleurs du Quebec (FTQ) and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board.
Maple, which is expected to take its hostile bid to TMX shareholders any day now, has less than three weeks to convince investors its "all-Canadian" alternative is better for the country's capital markets. Shareholders will vote on the TMX-LSE deal on June 30.
Maple's new partners also tout what they see as the benefits of Maple's proposal to Canada's small- and mid-cap companies and to Montreal, Quebec, home to TMX's Montreal Exchange for derivatives. Continued...