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TMX/LSE merger still has a ways to go before completion Add to ...

The TMX/LSE deal isn't a fait accompli yet.

Though it might be a long shot, there is chatter that a U.S. exchange might want to step into the fray. In the meantime, the two sides are going to have to try to secure permission for their deal from Ottawa under the Investment Canada Act.

Tom Kloet, CEO of TMX Group Inc., said on a conference call Wednesday morning that he firmly believes the deal is of net benefit to Canada, and that the exchanges have put together a package of promises that they are confident will meet the test.

Beyond that hurdle, there is also a laundry list of less contentious approvals that will be required, including: a majority of shareholders of the LSE Group at its annual general meeting; at least two-thirds of shareholders at a special TMX Group meeting; and approvals from the Ontario Securities Commission, The Autorité des marchés financiers in Quebec, the Alberta Securities Commission, the British Columbia Securities Commission, and the Financial Services Authority in the U.K.

As they work to bring this to completion, the deal that's been struck between the TMX and the LSE bars either side from soliciting other offers, but leaves room for either to break the deal in favour of a better offer. If either side did that, they would have to pay a break fee of $39-million, and the other side would have the right to match the new offer.

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