A group of Canadian banks and pension funds extended their C$3.73 billion ($3.74 billion) offer for TMX Group Inc. until April 30, the sixth delay as it pursues regulatory approvals for its plan to buy the country’s main equities and derivatives markets.
The takeover by Maple Group Acquisition Corp. requires approval from Canada’s Competition Bureau and provincial regulators. Maple is also in talks to extend its Oct. 30 takeover accord with the Toronto Stock Exchange owner because it doesn’t expect the deal to be done by an April 30 deadline.
“Given the current status of regulatory approvals, it is apparent that the offer will not be completed by April 30,” said Maple, whose 13 members include Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Manulife Financial Corp.
Quebec’s financial markets authority said March 15 that it intends to approve the proposed takeover. The Ontario Securities Commission will publish draft terms and conditions for a 30-day public comment period before making a final decision, Maple said March 15. The Competition Bureau said Nov. 29 that it had “serious concerns” about the plan.
Maple, which first proposed to buy TMX in May, proposes to buy between 70 percent and 80 percent of TMX shares in a tender offer. The group ultimately intends to buy 100 percent of TMX and integrate it with the Canadian Depository for Securities Ltd. clearinghouse and Alpha Group, a bank-owned alternative trading venue that competes with TMX.
Maple is in “active negotiations” with Alpha and CDS on price and terms and hasn’t reached an agreement, the group said. Maple said it will review progress of discussions with regulators and Alpha, CDS and their owners in in the next month in considering extending its October agreement with TMX.
“It is Maple’s current intention to further extend the offer on or before April 30” if Maple is satisfied with progress of talks with regulators, Alpha and CDS, the group said. “However, there can be no assurance at this time that the offer will be further extended.”