TORONTO - TMX Group Ltd. has signed a deal to acquire AST Investor Services Inc. (Canada) for $165 million.

AST Investor Services and its subsidiary AST Trust Company (Canada) provide transfer agency, corporate trust and related services to Canadian public and private companies.

They have about 150 employees in offices in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.

TMX Group, the operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange, is acquiring the companies from Armor Holdco Inc., a portfolio company of Pacific Equity Partners.

Armor's U.S. operations, including American Stock Transfer & Trust Company LLC and D.F. King & Co., Inc., are not a part of the transaction.

TMX says the transaction is expected to close within six to 12 months, subject to regulatory approvals.