Canadian exchange deal wins final clearance

Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:01pm EDT
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By Euan Rocha and Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO (Reuters) - The C$3.8 billion ($3.72 billion) acquisition of Canada's TMX Group cleared its final regulatory hurdles on Wednesday, allowing a financial consortium to take control of all of the country's major securities exchanges and related businesses.

Concluding a drawn-out review process, regulators in the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta approved Maple Group's acquisition of TMX - the operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange for small-capitalization stocks, and the Montreal Exchange for derivatives, among others.

Under its broad proposal, the consortium of Canadian banks, insurers and pension funds will also acquire TMX's biggest rival, Alpha Group, as well as the Canadian Depository for Securities, which clears and settles all stock trades in the country.

"We are happy that the deal is going to be concluded and that we will have a strong national stock exchange," said Thomas Caldwell, chairman of Caldwell Financial, which owns shares of TMX.

Regulators in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and the federal Competition Bureau, approved the deal earlier in July.

Canada has no national securities regulator, which means Maple needed the blessings of multiple watchdogs for its C$50-a-share tender offer to succeed.

Shares of TMX Group closed up 20 Canadian cents at C$48.85 on Wednesday.

"Following completion of the transaction, TMX Group will be a stronger organization, able to introduce new innovation and efficiency to the Canadian market, and to grow, compete and win more effectively on the global stage," said TMX Chief Executive Tom Kloet in a statement.   Continued...