UPDATE 1-Urbana buys portion of Canadian exchange operator CNSX

Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:20pm EST
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* Investment company buys 20 pct stake in CNSX for C$1.6 mln

* Offers to buy up to 49 pct of CNSX

* Urbana headed by veteran exchanges investor Thomas Caldwell

* Caldwell eyes combining CNSX and Pure Trading ATS

* Exchange operator small player in Canada

By Solarina Ho

TORONTO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Financial investment company Urbana Corp 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.   Continued...