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Canadian securities regulators adopt fundamental changes to take-over bid regime

  • Securities - CSA Image

Feb 25, 2016

On February 25, 2016, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published final amendments to the regime that governs take-over bids in Canada.

The changes, as reflected in a fully harmonized National Instrument 62-104 Take-Over Bids and Issuer Bids (NI 62-104) and National Policy 62-203 Take-Over Bids and Is­suer Bids, will enhance the quality and integrity of the take-over bid regime while rebalancing the dynamics among bidders, target company boards of directors and target company shareholders during a take-over bid.

In a fundamental change, the new take-over bid regime will require that all non-exempt take-over bids meet a minimum tender requirement of more than 50 per cent of the outstanding securities that are subject to the bid (excluding securities owned by the bidder itself or its joint actors).

The amendments will also require a minimum deposit period of 105 days, subject to exceptions that allow for a shorter minimum period, either at the discretion of the target board, or in the event that the issuer enters into a specified alternative transaction. Further, the minimum deposit period will be subject to an extension period of a minimum of 10 days after the minimum tender requirement and all other conditions are met.

Under the existing regime, non-exempt take-over bids must remain open for 35 days and are not subject to any minimum tender requirement or an extension requirement once the bidder has taken up deposited securities.

Except in Ontario, provided all Ministerial approvals are obtained, the amendments to the take-over bid regime and consequential amendments will come into force on May 9, 2016. In Ontario, the amendments will come into force on the later of: a) May 9, 2016, and b) the day on which certain sections of Schedule 18 of the Budget Measures Act, 2015 (Ontario) are proclaimed into force.

Review the Press Release and the Amendments to Take-Over Bid Regime on the Ontario Securities Commission's Web site.

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