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Maple Group extends TMX takeover bid to October 31

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The Maple Group consortium of Canadian financial institutions said on Thursday it extended a hostile $3.8 billion takeover bid for TMX Group (X-T), the country’s largest stock market operator.

Maple, made up of four of Canada's largest banks, four top pension funds and one of North America's largest life insurers, also said it was continuing to work toward obtaining regulatory approvals for the $50 per share bid.

The extension is the second since Maple made its bid and may not be its last as the consortium has made it clear it wants shareholders to have regulatory clarity before they are asked to tender their shares.

The offer needs to pass muster with provincial securities regulators and the federal Competition Bureau, in separate processes that are not likely to culminate until at least November or December.

At the provincial level, securities regulators will have to invite the public to comment, and the federal Competition Bureau probably won't rule until after the provincial process is complete.

Behind the scenes, Maple is working to convince authorities that the deal, including plans to merge Canada's biggest alternative exchange, Alpha Group, into the TMX, is in the best interest of investors and the broader market.

"The Competition Bureau will be faced with balancing whether a buyout would be anti-competitive in a broad and serious way versus the efficiencies brought in by having a well-capitalized owner bring in and consolidate Alpha and CDS within it," said Chris Damas, an independent analyst and a shareholder in the TMX Group.
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