Maple Group extends TMX takeover bid to October 31

Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:27pm EDT
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By Pav Jordan and John McCrank

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Maple Group consortium of Canadian financial institutions has extended its takeover bid for Canada's largest stock market operator for a second time as it awaits regulatory rulings that could still be months away.

Maple, made up of four of Canada's largest banks, four top pension funds and one of North America's largest life insurers, said on Thursday, a day before its bid was set to expire, that it had extended its hostile C$3.8 billion ($3.65 billion) offer for TMX Group (X.TO: Quote) to October 31.

The consortium also said it was continuing to work toward obtaining regulatory approvals for the C$50 per share bid for TMX, operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange.

TMX shares rose 2.24 percent after Maple's announcement and closed at C$40.54 on the Toronto exchange.

The extension is the second since Maple officially made its bid on June 13, originally in an effort to thwart a friendly takeover offer for TMX by the London Stock Exchange (LSE.L: Quote) that many saw as a threat to Toronto's growing clout as a financial center.

It may not be the last time Maple will have to extend as the consortium has made it clear from the start that it wants shareholders to have regulatory clarity before they are asked to tender their shares.

TMX Group declined to comment.

"Right now shareholders would be depositing without any certainty that the transaction is going to get done," said a source with knowledge of the situation.   Continued...

<p>TMX Group Chief Executive Officer Thomas Kloet poses for a portrait at the TSX offices in Toronto February 22, 2011. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA - Tags: BUSINESS)</p>