National exchange mergers gain watchdog approvals
The consortium Maple Group Acquisition Corporation’s bid for
exchange group TMX has been approved by national regulators, ensuring ownership
of the Toronto Stock Exchange and Bourse de Montréal remains in Canadian hands. Separately, the Japan Fair Trade Commission
has accepted the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s bid to acquire Osaka Securities
Exchange and create a single national exchange.
Maple can now operate a combined exchange
and clearing group involving TMX and alternative venue Alpha Trading Systems,
which is owned by another consortium of Canadian institutions, which includes
many Maple shareholders. Maple’s C$3.8bn
TMX bid was put forward in May 2011 and has been approved by Ontario Securities
Company (OSC) but needed the grace of the country’s competition watchdog.
The consortium has now received a No
Action Letter, confirming the Competition Bureau does not intend to challenge
the proposed transactions. In a statement issued 4 July, the Bureau said it
had conducted its own review of the proposed transactions and the measures
contained in the OSC’s final recognition orders materially change the
regulatory environment sufficiently to substantially mitigate the serious
competition concerns which the Bureau had previously communicated to Maple.
The TMX Group and Maple also today
announced that Québécois regulator, the Autorité des marchés financiers (“AMF”),
has approved Maple’s proposed acquisition of the Canadian Depository for
“Competition Bureau clearance and
publication of AMF and OSC recognition orders are major milestones in the
progress of our transactions,” Luc Bertrand, vice-chairman, National Bank
Financial Group, said on behalf of Maple.
In addition, the Japan Fair Trade
Commission has given the all-clear for the merging of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE)
with the Osaka Securities Exchange (OSE), set to create the world’s third-biggest
equities exchange. The merger between the TSE and OSE was announced 22 November
and is currently slated for January 2013.
Reporting by Sophie Pallier