* Offer deadline extended from Sept. 30 to Oct. 31
* Maple says continues to work toward regulatory approvals
* TMX shares rise 2.24 pct to C$40.54
(Recasts, adds that TMX Group declined comment)
By Pav Jordan and John McCrank
TORONTO, Sept 29 The Maple Group consortium of
Canadian financial institutions has extended its takeover bid
for Canada's largest stock market operator for a second time as
it awaits regulatory rulings that could still be months away.
Maple, made up of four of Canada's largest banks, four top
pension funds and one of North America's largest life insurers,
said on Thursday, a day before its bid was set to expire, that
it had extended its hostile C$3.8 billion ($3.65 billion) offer
for TMX Group (X.TO) to Oct. 31.
The consortium also said it was continuing to work toward
obtaining regulatory approvals for the C$50 per share bid for
TMX, operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange.
TMX shares rose 2.24 percent after Maple's announcement and
closed at C$40.54 on the Toronto exchange.
The extension is the second since Maple officially made its
bid on June 13, originally in an effort to thwart a friendly
takeover offer for TMX by the London Stock Exchange (LSE.L)
that many saw as a threat to Toronto's growing clout as a
It may not be the last time Maple will have to extend as
the consortium has made it clear from the start that it wants
shareholders to have regulatory clarity before they are asked
to tender their shares.
TMX Group declined to comment.
"Right now shareholders would be depositing without any
certainty that the transaction is going to get done," said a
source with knowledge of the situation.
Maple's 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
Behind the scenes, Maple is working to persuade 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.
(Reporting by Pav Jordan and John McCrank; Editing by Jeffrey
Hodgson and Peter Galloway)