According to Riyaz Lalani, chief executive of the financial communications firm Bayfield Strategy Inc., the stage has been set for even more proxy contests.
And Lalani, whose work covers both activist investors and companies trying to defend themselves against such attacks, believes there will be an increase even though the Canadian regulatory authorities proposed two months back a new harmonized take-over bid regime.
Canadian regulators don’t tinker very often with the technical nuts and bolts of the country’s takeover regime. But new rules to limit the use of poison pills will disrupt the strategies and tactics we’ve become used to in Canadian takeover battles.
Big change is a afoot, lawyers say.
“The takeover amendments are expected to profoundly change the manner in which takeover bids are conducted, and the securities regulators’ role in those transactions,” write lawyers from Goodmans LLP in a note about the rules.
Unsolicited takeover bids for Canadian companies must seek at least 50 per cent of a target company’s stock and remain open for at least 105 days, according to new rules that will take effect in May.
Canadian Securities Administrators, the umbrella group that coordinates policy among Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial securities regulators, published the new rules Thursday. The policy completes a three-year process in which Canadian regulators have sought to overhaul the rules on hostile takeover bids.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he will toughen investment rules for foreign state-owned companies after approving bids by CNOOC and Petroliam Nasional Bhd.
Canada will no longer allow state-owned companies to takeover businesses in the nation’s oil sands and will toughen requirements in other industries. Today, he approved CNOOC’s $15.1-billion takeover of Nexen and Petronas’s $5.2-billion takeover of Progress Energy Resources Corp.
In a press conference, Harper said those two transactions are the end of a “trend.”
MONTREAL • Quebec’s market watchdog says it is pursuing talks with other provinces to try to strike a compromise on changes to Canada’s takeover bid and defensive tactics regulation.
“The vulnerability of our public companies is a Canadian problem, not only a Quebec one,” Louis Morisset, chief executive of the Autorité des marchés financiers, said in the text of a speech to the Canadian Club of Montreal Monday. “[We need to] re-establish a proper balance of power between a board of directors and an opportunistic buyer.”
Michael Levi tried his best to keep his latest book focused on the future of U.S. energy and not delve deeply on Canadian projects. It was not to be, and he ended up writing an entire chapter on the U.S. environmental movement’s claims inspired by TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline and the oil sands.
The world’s largest buyout company, The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX), will stop charging extra fees to companies that it controls due to increasing oversight by US regulators and rising concern among Blackstone’s own investors.
TORONTO — It would be foolish for Canadian rules on foreign investment to be too clear because Ottawa needs a certain amount of discretion when considering takeover bids, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Friday.
Last December, Canada allowed China’s CNOOC Ltd to buy domestic energy firm Nexen Inc despite unhappiness among some legislators in the ruling Conservative Party, who said they did not like the idea of foreign state-owned enterprises buying Canadian energy assets.