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article imageBattle between LSE, Maple Group intensifies as decision nears

By Justin Crann     Jun 16, 2011 in Business
Toronto - Maple Group, an all-Canadian consortium of 13 financial groups and banks, is stepping up the rhetoric in its ongoing battle with LSE Group to determine the future of the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The battle began a month ago, when Maple offered a C$3.6 billion takeover bid to TMX Group, the organization that operates the TSX. As previously reported by Digital Journal, that bid was declined by TMX.
Unwilling to take no for an answer, Maple rallied its existing membership, added a few more institutions to its roster, and launched a larger, C$3.8B hostile bid, this time choosing to bypass the TMX executives and buy out their shareholders instead.
But the Maple proposal hinges — in no small part — on the group's ability to consolidate the TSX with its largest domestic competitor, Alpha. And that consolidation is still only a possibility, as Maple is still struggling to buy out the other shareholders in what the Globe and Mail calls a "nasty scrap" that could cause "lingering bad blood."
This hurdle isn't stopping Maple from heating up the rhetoric on the TMX front, however. Late last week, Maple spokesman Luc Bertrand said that TMX Group's shareholders need more time to consider how to vote on the LSE merger proposal. He argued that shareholders should have more time "so that everyone has more information and more clarity as to what are the consequences."
The vote is scheduled to occur on June 30.
Yesterday, Bertrand added to the stream of rhetoric about the proposed LSE-TMX merger when he said that the Maple offer would help keep jobs in Canada, contribute to the Canadian economy and protect Canadian companies.
Even if the Maple rhetoric fails to work on TMX shareholders, it could still deliver the desired results. After the shareholders have their vote, the proposed merger will still need to jump a number of bureaucratic hurdles, including public hearings held by Ontario and Quebec securities regulators and a review by the Feds.
More about London stock exchange, Toronto Stock Exchange, TMX Group, Maple Group, LSE Group
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