Maple Group says securities regulators have given OK to two step bid process

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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TORONTO — The Canadian consortium that has launched a hostile takeover bid for the TMX Group said Tuesday that Canadian securities regulatory authorities have given the OK for its two-step offer for the operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Maple Group Acquisition Corp., which includes four of Canada's big banks, Manulife Financial and a host of other pension funds and financial players, said it has received exemptive relief from certain provisions of Canadian securities laws to allow its bid, valued at $3.7 billion, to go ahead.

Maple is seeking to beat out a friendly merger between the TMX and the London Stock Exchange Group with a stock swap valued at around $3 billion that would give TMX shareholders a roughly 45 per cent stake in the new company.

In the first step in its offer, the Canadian group has offered $48 in cash for 70 per cent of the shares of the TMX Group. That would be followed by a stock swap for the remaining 30 per cent that would see current TMX shareholders end up with a 40 per cent stake in Maple.

Maple investors would end up holding the remaining 60 per cent.

Thirty-one per cent would be held by the five pension funds involved in the deal including Alberta Investment Management, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Fonds de solidarite des travailleurs du Quebec and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

The four bank-owned investment dealers in the group including CIBC World Markets (TSX:CM), National Bank Financial (TSX:NA), Scotia Capital (TSX:BNS) and TD Securities (TSX:TD) will hold a total of 22 per cent.

And Desjardins Financial Group, Dundee Capital Markets (TSX:DC.A), GMP Capital (TSX:GMP) and Manulife Financial (TSX:MFC), which joined the group on the weekend, would together hold the remaining seven per cent.

In a related development, Quebec Premier Jean Charest added his support for the exchange remaining in Canadian hands during session with Bloomberg new agency editors in New York on Tuesday.

Charest's press secretary, Hugo d'Amours, said the premier told Bloomberg that having TSX ownership remain in Canada would likely offer more guarantees for preserving jobs in Montreal.

Organizations: TMX Group, TSX, Manulife Financial Toronto Stock Exchange Group Acquisition London Stock Exchange Group TD Securities Bloomberg Alberta Investment Management Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Fonds de solidarite Ontario Teachers CIBC World Markets National Bank Financial Scotia Capital BNS Desjardins Financial Group Dundee Capital Markets GMP Capital

Geographic location: Canada, TORONTO, Quebec New York Montreal

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