LSE and Maple sweeten TMX offers

LSE and Maple sweeten TMX offers

The battle to woo TMX Group shareholders has heated up, with the London Stock Exchange sweetening its offer through a C$660 million special dividend, prompting rival suitor Maple to up its bid to C$50 a share.

TMX shareholders are set to vote on the rival offers on 30 June, with the exchange operator's management favouring a "merger of equals" with its London counterpart.

The two sought to gain the upper hand yesterday with a proposed special dividend of C$4 a share for TMX shareholders and 84.1 pence for LSE shareholders. The pair also committed to maintain dividends at least as high as the current payout from TMX.

Xavier Rolet, CEO, LSE, says: "The special dividend and our new dividend policy reflect the strong performance of our organisations and signal our absolute commitment to delivering both growth and shareholder value."

However, the Maple consortium of 13 banks and pension funds reacted quickly, increasing its offer from C$48 a share to C$50 a share. According to Bloomberg, the LSE offer, including special dividend, is worth C$48.90. Maple Group is also increasing the proportion of cash in the deal from 70% to a maximum of 80%.

Luc Bertrand, Maple spokesman, says: "Maple's offer continues to provide far greater value and certainty than the LSE take-over, as well as a stronger, more valuable and more sustainable business model for the TMX Group going forward. We believe the choice is clear."

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