TMX rejects Maple's C$3.6 billion takeover bid

Fri May 20, 2011 6:56pm EDT
 
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By Euan Rocha

TORONTO (Reuters) - TMX Group, operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange, said on Friday its board has rejected a C$3.6 billion ($3.7 billion) takeover bid from a group of Canadian banks and pension funds.

The TMX in a statement said its board still supports a plan put forth in February to join forces with the London Stock Exchange Group, forming a transatlantic powerhouse for trading stocks, derivatives and other financial assets.

Last week, an all-Canadian consortium calling itself the Maple Group Acquisition Corp proposed to buy TMX and derail the LSE's $3 billion friendly offer, which opponents say would allow Canadian capital markets to fall under foreign control.

The TMX takeover battle is part of an intensifying drive by the world's biggest exchange operators to attain the scale now thought to be needed to compete in an increasingly global trading environment.

Germany's Deutsche Boerse AG is well on its way to buying the New York and Paris exchanges after U.S. antitrust officials pulled the plug on an $11 billion rival bid for NYSE Euronext.

The rejection is likely to leave Nasdaq -- which had bid for NYSE along with IntercontinentalExchange Inc -- scrambling for another target.

The TMX, which also owns the TSX Venture Exchange for small-cap stocks and the Montreal Exchange for derivatives, said its board rejected the Maple Group offer because it was inadequate and too risky.

"The board's view is that the merger with LSEG continues to be in the best interests of TMX Group and its shareholders and stakeholders," TMX Chairman Wayne Fox said in a statement.   Continued...

 
<p>TMX Group CEO Tom Kloet speaks during a news conference regarding the merger of the TSX and the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in Toronto, February 9, 2011. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>