London and Toronto stock exchanges propose merger
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Only weeks before the Canadian government in Ottawa is expected to table a budget which may trigger a national election, the announcement of a proposed 3.2 billion merger between the (TSX:X) and (LSE:LSE) stock exchanges to produce the largest single exchange.
Even as news was beginning to leak about the mega-merger,(FWB:DB1) and (NYSE:NYX) announced deep negotiations under way regarding a merger between the third and second, respectively, largest exchange groups by total revenues. The proposed TMX-LSE group merger would produce the largest market in terms of listings - approximately 6,700 companies are traded between the two groups - but total annual receipts would likely not make it the largest in dollars.
Technically the merger is a takeover of Toronto-based TMX by the LSE Group, with LSE shareholders owning 55% of the new company. TMX head Thomas Kloet would become CEO of the new firm, while LSE's executive would take chairmanship of a new board consisting of 8 members from LSE and 7 from TMX.
Canadian Industry Ministerhas said the government will review the merger, which raises the spectre of a government rejection of a deal which would see yet another large Canadian corporation under foreign ownership. The ruling conservatives have been dogged by the issue, and have blocked two other foreign ownership bids during the current government's terms - last year's (TSX:POT) takeover bid from (BHP.AX) and the earlier (NYSE:ATK) bid for (TSX:MDA) space technologies branch, the only two such blocks ever made by a Canadian government.
Canadian opposition parties challenged the Prime Minister over the proposal, withleader questioning the benefits of the deal. "Of course, Canadian companies need access to foreign capital, but not at the expense of our own capital markets," he said. Canadian Prime Minister refused to comment on the proposal, having been criticised for involving his office in the Potash bid.
- Jameson Berkow. "TMX, LSE merger press conference: the highlights" — , February 9, 2011
- Sunny Freeman. "Merger of Toronto and London stock market operators a global game-changer" — , February 9, 2011
- "Canada PM silent on proposed exchange merger deal" — , February 9, 2011
- "Ottawa takes stock of London, Toronto merger" — , February 9, 2011