Maple’s takeover of TMX in doubt as regulator objects

THE £2.4bn takeover of Canada’s stock exchange TMX Group by a consortium of local banks was plunged into uncertainty yesterday after the competition watchdog objected to the deal.

Competition commissioner Melanie Aitken told the two parties “she has serious concerns about the likely competitive effects of the proposed transactions in the current environment, primarily in connection with equities trading and clearing and settlement services in Canada,” Maple group said.

The 13 Maple institutions, which include pension funds, asset managers and banks, launched a hostile bid to stop TMX from merging with the London Stock Exchange in a £2bn deal in February.

The group said it would work with the regulator to find remedies to push the merger through. It said it “has agreed to use commercially reasonable efforts to obtain all required regulatory approvals”.

Maple members are major customers of TMX, causing concerns that other users could be shut out of the market. Many also hold stakes in clearer CDS and trading system Alpha, adding to competition fears.