The London Stock Exchange faced a takeover battle on Thursday with the Maple Group over Canada's TMX Group , the outcome of which may well decide whether it becomes takeover target itself.

The Maple Group of Canadian banks and pension funds late on Wednesday turned its C$3.6 billion ($3.7 billion) bid hostile, after the TMX board rejected it in favor of the LSE's $3 billion offer last week.

This came after TMX and the LSE raised the stakes earlier on Wednesday by fixing a date for their respective shareholders to vote on the LSE deal.

The merger partners said their shareholders will vote on the LSE-TMX merger of equals on June 30. [ID:nN25289169]

By accelerating the timing of their meeting to consider the LSE takeover, they have given us no choice but to make our offer available directly to TMX Group shareholders, said Luc Bertrand, lead spokesman for the Maple Group and vice chairman of National Bank of Canada , one of the Maple banks.

The hostile approach by Maple, which hopes to galvanize nationalistic opposition to a foreign takeover of Canada's main exchange, leaves TMX shareholders facing a crucial decision that could determine the fate of TMX and the LSE.

Scooping up the TMX will make the LSE too large to be a realistic takeover target for rivals such as Nasdaq OMX and the Singapore Exchange , both of which have seen their merger plans dashed in recent weeks.

A spokeswoman for the LSE declined to comment on Thursday.

(Editing by Hans Peters)