TMX gets bid from a group of Canadian banks, pension funds

Bloomberg

Mon, May 16, 2011 - Page 10

TMX Group Inc, the Toronto Stock Exchange owner that London Stock Exchange Group PLC (LSE) agreed to buy, received a counteroffer from a group of Canadian pension funds and banks.

The group, which calls itself Maple Group Acquisition Corp, is offering to pay cash and stock worth more than TMX’s current share price, according to a statement from the Toronto-based company.

TMX shares closed at C$41.75 (US$43.11) on Friday, or 7.4 percent higher than LSE’s C$38.89-a-share all-stock agreement from February, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said on Saturday he welcomed the rival bid.

TMX did not disclose the identities of the companies behind Maple Group.

According to Duncan, they are -Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, National Bank of Canada, Alberta Investment Management Corp, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Fonds de Solidarite FTQ.

“I look forward to Canadians having a chance to look at an alternative bid that includes Canadians,” Duncan said in a telephone interview.

Duncan said he was briefed on the proposal on Friday night by TD Bank chief executive officer Edmund Clark and spoke with TMX on Saturday.

“It responds to a number of the concerns that I’ve raised about Canadian control,” he said.

Nationalistic concerns have impeded the record wave of exchange mergers worldwide. Singapore Exchange Ltd dropped its bid in October last year for ASX Ltd, owner of the Australian bourse, after failing to win government support in Australia.

Deutsche Boerse AG of Frankfurt, Germany, agreed in February to purchase New York-based NYSE Euronext Inc to create the world’s biggest exchange operator. US Senator Charles Schumer said in February that his support for the deal was contingent on it being a merger of equals.