Many US and Canadian public companies have implemented so-called advance notice provisions (“ANPs”), bylaws and policies requiring shareholders to provide a company with notice by a specified deadline should they wish to propose an alternative slate of directors at a shareholder meeting. Recently, a shareholder of a US company listed on the New York Stock Exchange ran out of time to provide the usual form of notice and instead nominated “placeholder candidates”. This article examines the novel and previously untested tactic of nominating “placeholder candidates” in proxy contests.… Continue Reading
Since Canada’s new harmonized take-over bid regime (New Bid Regime) came into effect earlier this year, there’s been a lot of talk about whether tactical private placements will become the new poison pills. For more information on the New Bid Regime see our previous article, Canada’s New Take-Over Bid Rules Seek to Level the Playing Field.
A “tactical private placement” occurs when a target company issues securities to a friendly party in response to an unsolicited take-over bid in order to make it more difficult and/or more expensive for the hostile bidder to complete a take-over of the target … Continue Reading
On February 25, 2016, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published a CSA Notice of Amendments to Take-Over Bid Regime confirming the adoption of a harmonized take-over bid and issuer bid regime for all Canadian jurisdictions (New Bid Regime),1 effective May 9, 2016.2
On February 25, 2016, the CSA also published a CSA Notice of Amendments to Early Warning System, which confirms the adoption of changes to Canada’s early warning reporting (EWR) system. These changes to the EWR system are to come into effect at the same time as the New Bid Regime and will be reflected in … Continue Reading
There are important lessons in a recent Ontario Superior Court decision examining defensive tactics taken by a board in the context of a contested shareholders’ meeting.
In Concept Capital Management Ltd. v. Oremex Silver Inc., 2013 ONSC 7820, the board of Oremex — during a contested election — postponed a shareholders’ meeting and issued shares to a third party, GRIT, in a financing transaction that closed in escrow on the same date as the revised record date for the meeting. Oremex took the view that the new shares could be voted at the contested meeting.
On March 14, 2013, the Canadian Securities Administrators (otherwise known as the “CSA”) published a request and notice for comments regarding Proposal National Instrument 62-105 – Security Holder Rights Plans, the purpose of which is to introduce the CSA’s proposed regulatory regime for rights plans.
The proposed rule, which is discussed in more detail in our publication Securities Regulators Proposed New Rules for Shareholder Rights Plans, does not address other defensive tactics.
In addition, the Autorité des marchés financiers has published An Alternative Approach to Securities Regulators’ Intervention in Defensive Tactics, (the “AMF Proposal”), which will be … Continue Reading
On March 14, 2013, the Autorité des marchés financiers has published a consultation paper regarding An Alternative Approach to Securities Regulators’ Intervention in Defensive Tactics (the “AMF Approach”). Concurrently, the Canadian Securities Administrators (otherwise known as the “CSA”) published a request and notice for comments regarding Proposal National Instrument 62-105 – Security Holder Rights Plans, the purpose of which is to introduce the CSA’s proposed regulatory regime for rights plans.
The AMF Approach is more general and far reaching in that it applies not just to rights plans but to all defensive measures adopted by a board to fend … Continue Reading
Resolute’ s battle for ownership of 100% of Fibrek Inc. recently came to an end with a friendly “white knight” offer from Mercer being withdrawn after a lengthy court battle. Resolute’s hostile bid for Fibrek was successful, notwithstanding that Fibrek’s board had endorsed Mercer’s offer at a 40% premium to the hostile bid. The Fibrek saga causes us to ask whatCanadian regulators are trying to achieve with the regulation of defensive tactics, and where they may go next.
The recent saga of Fibrek Inc. has been of great interest to those in the M&A community. Many hoped that it would lead to the Supreme Court of Canada giving its view of defensive tactics and strengthen the hand of boards of directors seeking ways to maximize shareholder value in the face of an unsolicited offer. This would have been very timely as regulators have recently been considering the future of certain defensive tactics (for more on this, please see one of our earlier posts: here). Despite the SCC dismissing Fibrek’s application for leave to appeal, the regulatory and … Continue Reading
After a few years on hiatus, the Ontario Securities Commission hosted its “Dialogue” conference once again on November 1, 2011. OSC Dialogue opened with a speech from the Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission, Howard Wetston, and filled the morning with two panel discussions, one on market infrastructure and another on strategic issues in investor protection.
The OSC Dialogue’s lunch hour was scheduled with a speech from The Honourable Dwight Duncan, Ontario’s Minister of Finance, as well as a speech from Ian Russell, President and CEO of the Investment Industry Association of Canada.
Of particular interest though for this blog … Continue Reading
The Ontario Securities Commission issued an order this week in connection with a shareholder rights plan adopted by the board of directors of MOSAID Technologies Incorporated in response to a hostile bid made by Wi-LAN Inc. The OSC ordered that effective November 1, 2011 (i.e. 70 days after the commencement of Wi-LAN’s unsolicited offer), MOSAID’s shareholder rights plan must go. The key factors considered by the OSC in arriving at its decision to allow the rights plan to stick around for another couple of weeks (not as long as MOSAID had wanted) included:
- MOSAID was continuing to run an auction
A poison pill, or shareholder rights plan, is a device implemented by a company’s board of directors in order to deter unsolicited or hostile acquisition proposals. The rights plan originated in the United States and was introduced in Canada in 1988 when Inco adopted its first rights plan. The introduction of poison pills in both countries was met with questions as to their legality. In the divergent approaches through which these questions were resolved in Canada and the United States (in particular Delaware), the rights plan and its effectiveness as a take-over defence have followed divergent paths.
In Delaware, the … Continue Reading
A select group of senior executives and in-house counsel interested in cross-border M&A disputes recently had a special opportunity to hear Vice Chancellor Travis Laster of the Delaware Court of Chancery speak in Toronto about his thoughts on some thorny M&A issues and their treatment under a continuum of legal regimes ranging from Pennsylvania, to Delaware of course, to Canada and to the United Kingdom. VC Laster was invited by McCarthy Tétrault to provide the keynote speech at a seminar put on for its clients and friends entitled M&A Disputes: Perspectives from Both Sides of the Border. Participants were … Continue Reading