Bye Bye Toronto, Hello Nasdaq?

As I (eventually) predicted, the LSE finally failed to convince enough of the TMX shareholders to support their bid to “merge” with (i.e. take over) TMX and the deal has now fallen through. In the end this looked fairly inevitable. Informed opinion in Toronto was convinced the deal would not work and stories about the way in which the LSE had treated the Italians after the takeover of the Borsa Milan (my last blog) will not have helped.

Does this mean that the Maple deal will now succeed? Not necessarily. Canadian competition regulators will want to look very carefully at the implications of merging the Alpha Trading alternative trading system with TMX. Ironically one of the most likely outcomes will be the retention of the status quo, with neither the Maple bid nor the LSE bid winning. But the Canadian banks in the Maple consortium will be happy. Their main objective was to block the LSE bid, and in this they have succeeded.

Where does this leave the LSE? Rather exposed, I think. Watch out for further speculation that Nasdaq OMX might revive its interest in the London exchange. The LSE is now in play.

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