Maple Group goes hostile for TMX
Maple Group has launched a C$3.7bn (£2.3bn) hostile bid for Toronto Stock Exchange operator TMX Group, an all-Canadian challenge to the London Stock Exchange’s agreed bid.
The Maple Group consortium’s long-awaited official bid proposed C$48 a share cash for 70 per cent of shares, compared with 60 per cent in the original proposal nearly a month ago.
The group, comprised of four leading banks, five top pension funds and four new institutional investors, said in a takeover circular to shareholders that its offer was “superior” in value and provided greater certainty for TMX shareholders.
The C$3.7bn figure is based on C$48 multiplied by the number of fully diluted shares, Maple said. Previously, the C$3.6bn value of the proposed offer was calculated based on the number of basic shares outstanding.
With less than three weeks left until investors vote for the LSE-TMX deal, the Canadian consortium urged shareholders to vote against its rival. Maple’s bid dies if TMX shareholders vote for LSE’s $3.4bn offer on June 30.
“TMX Group shareholders should be aware that Maple’s offer can only proceed if the LSE take-over plan does not,” Luc Bertrand, Maple’s chief spokesman and vice-chairman of Quebec-based National Bank, said in a statement.
Unlike LSE shareholders, TMX investors do not get a second vote if there are conditions attached to any regulatory approvals that may come after June 30.
The consortium said in its circular that unlike LSE’s all-stock offer, Maple’s bid offers cash to shareholders and would maintain TMX’s current dividend.
It also disputed LSE and TMX’s assertion that the transatlantic tie-up would enhance liquidity for Canadian capital markets.