Bloomberg News

Maple Group Has Growing Shareholder Support, Bertrand Says

June 20, 2011

(Updates with Bertrand comments starting in second paragraph.)

June 20 (Bloomberg) -- Maple Acquisition Corp. has growing support for its C$3.58 billion ($3.65 billion) bid to buy Toronto Stock Exchange owner TMX Group Inc., said Luc Bertrand, head of the bank-led group.

TMX shareholders will probably reject a rival offer from the London Stock Exchange Group Plc in a vote set for June 30, Bertrand said. The Maple offer will provide better long-term growth and protect the company’s dividend, Bertrand told reporters today in Montreal.

“There is a growing body of institutional investors and also many retail investors who are increasingly understanding that what we are proposing from a business standpoint” is “significantly superior,” he said after a speech where he touted Maple’s local backers over U.K. control.

Maple Group’s 13 members include Toronto-Dominion Bank, Manulife Financial Corp. and National Bank of Canada, and Bertrand is seeking to convince TMX investors to vote against the London exchange owner’s C$3.32 billion offer. TMX, owner of the Toronto Stock Exchange and Montreal’s derivatives market, backs LSE’s all-stock takeover and has rejected Maple’s cash and equity proposal.

“Our offer is unquestionably superior to the LSE offer, so it’s pretty hard to justify why you would increase an offer that is already superior,” he said when asked if a higher bid may be coming.

Former Quebec Premier Bernard Landry also attended the speech and told reporters the Maple bid is better, echoing an opinion piece he wrote today in La Presse, the province’s largest newspaper.

Glass Lewis & Co. last week recommended TMX Group shareholders back the London Stock Exchange bid. Institutional Shareholder Services, another shareholder advisory firm, recommended LSE shareholders back the TMX merger.

--With assistance from Doug Alexander in Toronto. Editors: David Scanlan

To contact the reporters on this story: Greg Quinn in Montreal at gquinn1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net; Nick Baker in New York at nbaker7@bloomberg.net


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