Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Competition Bureau Next Big Hurdle for Maple Takeover Bid for TMX: Quebec Regulator Intends to Approve Maple Bid

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Competition Bureau Next Big Hurdle for Maple Takeover Bid for TMX: Quebec Regulator Intends to Approve Maple Bid

Article excerpt

MONTREAL - The federal Competition Bureau remains the next hurdle for the Maple Group after two key provincial regulators moved closer Thursday to approving the takeover of the company that operates the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The Competition Bureau said its review of the bid remains a priority as it assesses the impact on equities trading and post-trade services (clearing, settlement and depository services).

However, bureau spokeswoman Alexa Keating said in an email that "a significant and material change to the competitive consequences" of the proposed transaction would be required to "sufficiently address the commissioner's serious concerns communicated to the parties in November."

The bureau wouldn't say what additional information it is seeking or when a decision would be made.

However, securities regulators in Quebec and Ontario indicated Thursday they were moving closer to approving the offer.

The Autorite des marches financiers said it intends to approve the transaction while the Ontario Securities Commission has instructed its staff to develop draft recognition orders with detailed terms and conditions. Those draft orders will be subject to a 30-day public comment period prior to a final decision.

"While the Competition Bureau is monitoring the evolution of Maple's proposed acquisitions of TMX Group, Alpha Group and CDS, the bureau's review is independent and the bureau will reach its own conclusions," Keating said.

Maple Group spokesman Luc Bertrand said it continues to provide information and to have discussions with the Competition Bureau to address all its concerns.

"We're working on all fronts...(but) the OSC decision and the AMF decision are very important milestones," he said in an interview.

Maple said it will seek an extension to the April 30 deadline to complete the transaction. But Bertrand declined to say when the deal may close.

"In these transactions, until the final approval is given, you have to work until you get that final one and then close the transaction."

The bid by Maple Group Acquisition, a consortium of 13 Canadian financial institutions and pension funds, also requires approval of regulators in Alberta and British Columbia. …

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