For the team of veteran investment bankers and Bay Street lawyers involved, the takeover of Canada’s main stock exchange company TMX Group Ltd. by a consortium of banks and pension funds under the Maple Group banner was unique in magnitude and detail.
“There were 100 things that we needed to do right and if any of them went wrong, that one could have caused the deal to crater,” says veteran securities lawyer Vince Mercier, a partner at law firm Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP who worked with the banks in the Maple consortium.
When it comes to the TMX Group, it seems there are two standards on transparency: There is the one it enforces on the companies whose shares it lists, and the one that it appears to follow when it comes to questions about its own operations.
One week back we saw an example of the former when GMP Capital, “at the request of Market Surveillance on behalf of the TSX,” issued a statement about a “possible transaction” involving Richardson GMP. (GMP has a minority stake in RichGMP.)
Reaction has been positive to the news that a group of financial institutions plans to launch a second major stock exchange to challenge the monopoly status enjoyed the TMX Group.
Firstly, there is the realization that Aequitas Innovations faces a daunting challenge: It’s not that easy taking on an entrenched party. Secondly, there’s the knowledge that TMX Group, which controls both the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange, has frustrated many of its clients, be they issuers or investors.
The Competition Bureau on Wednesday cleared the way for the Maple Group consortium of Canadian banks and pension funds to take over Canada's stock exchanges.The consortium last year launched a $3.8 billion bid for TMX Group, which operates the Toronto and Montreal stock markets, after a rival effort to merge the London Stock Exchange and Toronto's bourse was scrapped.In a statement, Commissioner of Competition Melanie Aitken said she won't "challenge the proposed transaction."