Ottawa to review TMX-LSE merger

Doubts swirl about 'net benefit' to Canada

Industry Minister Tony Clement is reviewing the “applicability” of the Canadian Investment Act to the proposed $7-billion merger between Canada’s TMX group and the London Stock Exchange after concerns were raised about foreign ownership of a Canadian asset. Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan questioned whether the merger would be in the province’s interests, calling the TMX a strategic asset for Canada that would be controlled by Middle Eastern powers if the deal went through. The ruler of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, would be the biggest shareholder of the new exchange. Brett Wilson, chair of Prairie Merchant and a judge on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, also expressed doubts about the merger. “I’m not sure if it’s a net benefit to Canada,” he said. Liberal finance critic John McCallum said Canada should amend the Investment Canada Act “to provide more transparency, enforceability and a clearer process for evaluating net benefit.” Although the federal Liberals have not yet taken an official position on the merger, they have pressed the Tories to define what strategic assets classify as a “net benefit” in the wake of the government’s overturning of the BHP Billiton’s takeover bid of the Saskatchewan-based Potash Corp.

The Globe and Mail

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