National exchange mergers gain watchdog approvals

Approvals from the respective national regulators have been given to both the consortium Maple Group Acquisition Corporation’s bid for exchange group TMX and for the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s proposal to acquire the Osaka Securities Exchange.

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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 Securities (CDS).

“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