UPDATE 1-TMX to file LSE bid with provinces within weeks-CEO

Tue May 10, 2011 2:48pm EDT

* Kloet optimistic on federal government approval

* Still sees deal wrapping in the fourth quarter (Adds comments, background, details)

By Solarina Ho

TORONTO, May 10 (Reuters) - TMX Group Inc (X.TO) will file applications within the next few weeks with Canadian provincial securities regulators seeking approval of a takeover bid from London Stock Exchange (LSE.L), TMX Chief Executive Tom Kloet said on Tuesday.

As well as from securities regulators, the head of Canada's largest exchange operator is optimistic about getting the green light from the federal government and still sees the deal wrapping up in the fourth quarter, he told Reuters on the sidelines of the Bloomberg Canada Economic Summit.

Last month, the LSE and TMX, owner of the Toronto Stock Exchange and its small-cap counterpart TSX Venture Exchange, started the clock ticking on what will be a months-long federal government review of the $3 billion tie-up, which has already polarized public opinion. [ID:nN29133364]

The LSE launched its friendly bid for the TMX, which has one of the largest concentrations of mining shares in the world, on Feb. 9. The proposed deal has met with opposition from some Canadian banks, politicians and companies.

Kloet said TMX would be obliged to take a look if it were to receive a competing bid.

"We have to consider the case for a whole bunch of stakeholders. So we'd consider all alternatives as a whole, but we're committed to the deal we have, and we think the deal we have is an excellent deal," he said.

He declined to comment on whether TMX has been approached with another offer.

The head of Alpha Group, Canada's top alternative stock-trading platform, told Reuters on Friday that Alpha is not in talks on making a counterbid for TMX. [ID:nN06144308]

Three of Canada's biggest banks and a number of its major pension fund managers -- including some of Alpha's founding shareholders -- are considering ways to block the LSE's bid, according to media reports. [ID:nN05234302]

Alpha competes against the TMX. (Writing by Jeffrey Hodgson; editing by Peter Galloway)