The London and Toronto stock exchanges abandoned plans for a C$3.6-billion merger on Wednesday, as it became clear they would not win enough shareholder support for their transatlantic alliance.
In brief statements issued just one day before a shareholder vote, the exchanges said they realised TMX Group shareholders would not give them the two-thirds majority they needed to approve their friendly deal.
The LSE would have owned 55% of the new venture, designed as a powerhouse in resource and energy equity. It could now become a takeover target itself in the wave of global exchange consolidation.
TMX Group, operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange, said it would now review opportunities, including a hostile offer from Canadian consortium Maple Group.
“Now we just have to ensure that management decides to enter into a friendly negotiation,” said a source with the Maple Group.
TMX shares rose on the news, touching a high of C$44.80 before easing back. That’s still below the Maple offer price of C$50 a share.