The London Stock Exchange faced an increasingly bitter battle for control of Canadian peer TMX Group after rival bidder Maple Group took its higher offer directly to shareholders.

Maple Group of Canadian banks and pension funds hostile $3.7 billion bid for TMX hopes to galvanize simmering nationalistic opposition to a foreign takeover of the country’s main exchange.

While the LSE is countering with the argument that its takeover would give TMX a launching point to the international stage, TMX shareholders’ decision could determine not only the fate of TMX but also that of the LSE.

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

If it fails, it risks being left a sitting duck as predators circle.

In other news, Freescale Semiconductor, bought by buyout firms near the peak of the private equity boom in 2006, raised a less-than-expected $783 million in its initial public offering.