TMX mum on hostile Maple bid, focuses on growth

Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:48pm EDT
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By Euan Rocha and Solarina Ho

TORONTO (Reuters) - Still stinging from calling off its marriage to the London Stock Exchange, TMX Group, operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange, wasn't ready on Thursday to start talking about a tie-up with the Canadian suitor that has made a hostile bid to take it over.

"We've been very committed to a deal with the LSE group and we've not been flirting elsewhere so to speak," TMX Chief Executive Tom Kloet said.

He said his company was focusing on growth after scrapping the C$3.6 billion deal with the LSE on Wednesday.

"We're not in any of those discussions right now, but the reality is that one never knows what will happen," Kloet told journalists after the TMX annual shareholder meeting.

The TMX/LSE deal collapsed as the two sides realized a day before the shareholder vote that they would not get the two-thirds majority needed to consummate their plan to build a transatlantic powerhouse in energy and resource equities.

"Make no mistake ... we will absolutely continue to grow internationally," Kloet told shareholders at the TMX annual general meeting, at which the vote on LSE-TMX proposal was to be held.

The collapse of the LSE bid opens the door to a hostile C$3.8 billion offer from the Canadian bank-led Maple Group consortium. Kloet said TMX will talk to Maple Group after taking time to consider its options, but that there were no talks scheduled.

"I don't think it would be appropriate for us to say publicly at this point, before we started the process, when we will, or whether we will, make a formal recommendation," Kloet said. "We will engage with Maple after we take some time to think about the road in front of us."   Continued...

<p>A red London bus passes the Stock Exchange in London February 9, 2011. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>