(Updates with LSE comment in fifth paragraph.)
June 10 (Bloomberg) -- Maple Group Acquisition Corp., the group of nine Canadian pension funds and banks that offered to buy TMX Group Inc., said more time should be given for shareholders to consider their unsolicited proposal.
TMX owners are scheduled to vote June 30 on a C$3.34 billion ($3.42 billion) takeover bid by London Stock Exchange Group Plc. Maple Group hasn’t officially filed documents on its C$3.58 billion offer, which TMX has rejected.
“Holding this meeting on the 30th is unfair to shareholders and regulators,” Maple Group spokesman Luc Bertrand said today in a telephone interview. Bertrand, the former head of the Montreal Exchange who became deputy CEO at TMX before leaving in 2009, is vice chairman at National Bank of Canada, a member of Maple Group.
LSE’s takeover of TMX needs approval from Canada’s federal government, which is required to decide if a foreign deal is a "net benefit" to the country under the Investment Canada Act. The deal, which was cleared by Canada’s competition authority on June 3, still requires approval from provincial regulators including those in Ontario and Quebec.
“After months of behind-the-scenes preparation, Maple is still lacking any substance,” David Lester, director of information services at LSE, said today in an e-mail. “Still no answer on the insuperable competition questions, still no vision for the future of the industry or for customers or employees.”
The Maple Group bid wouldn’t require Industry Canada approval because it’s not a foreign transaction, though it will face reviews by regulators and Canada’s competition bureau, the group said in a May 16 presentation.
Bertrand said Maple Group hasn’t asked TMX for an extension. Instead, the bidders have been focused on preparing an information circular for its counteroffer. He declined to say when the circular would be filed.
“Admittedly, this is a crucial decision for Canada,” Bertrand said. “More time should be allocated so that everyone has more information and more clarity as to what are the consequences.”
Maple Group’s backers also include Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Alberta Investment Management Corp., and Fonds de Solidarite FTQ.
Bertrand, 56, also declined to say whether other financial companies including Manulife Financial Corp. have joined Maple Group. Firms including GMP Capital Inc., Dundee Capital Markets Inc. and Desjardins Financial Group are also in talks to join Maple Group, according to a Dow Jones report.
“Until the proposal is out, we’re limited in scope in what we can say,” Bertrand said. “There’s a growing body of people who are increasingly concerned by the LSE proposal.”
--Editors: Nick Baker, Chris Nagi
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