With the 2015 Proxy Season close at hand, Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC (Glass Lewis) and Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) recently released their updated Canadian proxy voting guidelines. Changes and clarifications have been made to their guidelines in such areas as advance notice policies and by-laws, shareholder rights plans and majority voting.… Continue Reading
The recent outcome of the Augusta/HudBay poison pill hearing provides some insight into how a shareholder rights plan may withstand scrutiny from a Canadian securities regulator for an extended period of time in the right circumstances. Though perhaps the result of somewhat unique facts, including insufficient initial support for the price being offered by the bidder and an active process being conducted by the target company, the British Columbia Securities Commission’s decision in Augusta/HudBay is also of interest in the context of the ongoing debates sparked by the proposed National Instrument 62-105 on Security Holder Rights Plans.… 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for ownership of 100% of Fibrek Inc. recently came to an end with a friendly “white knight” offer from Mercer being withdrawn after a lengthy court battle.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.
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:
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.