Maple Group adds partners to TMX group bid

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - A group of Canadian banks and pension funds mounting a hostile bid for the TMX Group <X.TO> said on Sunday they have added more partners to the effort to top a rival offer from the London Stock Exchange Group <LSE.L>.

The so-called "Maple Group" said Desjardins Financial Group, GMP Capital Inc <GMP.TO>, Dundee Capital Markets <DCM.TO> and Manulife Financial <MFC.TO> had agreed to join the C$3.6 billion ($3.7 billion) bid for the operator of the Canada's main bourse.

Maple Group, which takes its name from Canada's patriotic maple leaf symbol, says their offer is financially superior to the C$3.5 billion bid from the London Exchange and will keep ownership of the TMX within the country's borders.

Maple Group's original members were Toronto Dominion Bank <TD.TO>, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce <CM.TO>, National Bank of Canada <NA.TO>, Bank of Nova Scotia <BNS.TO>, plus five pension funds including Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board.

($1= 98 Canadian cents)

(Reporting Allan Dowd, Editing Marguerita Choy)