On January 11, 2023, Fasken, along with TMX Group Ltd. (“TMX Group”, which includes the Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”) and TSX Venture Exchange (“TSX-V”)) and Laurel Hill Advisory Group (“Laurel Hill”), hosted a conversation on disclosure and regulatory considerations for issuers leading into the 2023 proxy season.
On January 13, 2022, Fasken and Laurel Hill Advisory Group (“Laurel Hill”) hosted a webinar on environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) considerations, with a focus on the climate change aspects of ESG that will be relevant to public companies. The webinar’s panelists were Cheryl Gasparet of ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (“ATS”), Bill Zawada of Laurel Hill, Tanneke Heersche and Kai Alderson of Fasken and was moderated by Gordon Raman of Fasken.
For a further discussion of these items, please see the Fasken Proxy Season Preview 2022 webinar to watch the webinar and the Timely Disclosure: Proxy Season Review 2022 for a write-up on recent developments in corporate governance.…
On January 13, 2022, TMX Group Ltd. (Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”) and TSX Venture Exchange (“TSXV”)), Laurel Hill Advisory Group (“Laurel Hill”) and Fasken hosted a conversation on disclosure and regulatory considerations for issuers leading into the 2022 proxy season. The panel discussed six discrete areas of recent developments that will be relevant for public companies:
- diversity disclosure;
- an update on proxy voting guidelines;
- an update from TSX and TSXV;
- continuous disclosure updates;
- corporate law amendments; and
- capital raising.
For a further discussion of these items, please see the Fasken Proxy Season Preview 2022 webinar.…
On January 14, 2021, Laurel Hill Advisory Group (“Laurel Hill”) and Fasken hosted a webinar on ESG (environmental, social and governance) considerations of which companies should be aware for the upcoming 2021 proxy season. The webinar’s panelists were David Salmon of Laurel Hill and Emilie Bundock, Stephen Erlichman and Grant McGlaughlin of Fasken and was moderated by Gordon Raman of Fasken. Set out below are some of the comments made by the speakers on the webinar.
The importance of ESG considerations in today’s corporate governance model has developed over the past 50 years. In the early 1970’s the Milton Friedman view of corporations was the dominant business mindset. In a forceful New York Times article he said that business leaders that “believed business is not concerned ‘merely’ with profit but also with promoting desirable ‘social’ ends …[were]… preaching pure and unadulterated socialism”. Since that time, certainly in North America, corporations have assumed a central role in the growth of economies. With that central role has come the recognition that corporations play a greater role in society, as noted in 2017 by Larry Fink, the head of Blackrock. In his annual letter to CEOs he wrote: “ To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society. Companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.”…
Continue Reading Proxy Season Preview 2021: ESG Considerations
On January 14, 2021, the Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”), Laurel Hill Advisory Group (“Laurel Hill”) and Fasken hosted a conversation on important disclosure and corporate governance considerations for issuers leading into the 2021 proxy season. The panel discussed four discrete areas of recent developments in corporate governance which companies should be aware of before this upcoming 2021 proxy season:
- An Update from Proxy Advisory Firms
- An Update from the TSX
- Diversity Disclosure
- COVID-19: Lasting Repercussions
The webinar discussion featured Bill Zawada of Laurel Hill, Valérie Douville of the TSX, and Sarah Gingrich and Neil Kravitz of Fasken and was moderated by Gordon Raman of Fasken.
Continue Reading Proxy Season Preview 2021
Proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass, Lewis & Co. (Glass Lewis) recently published updated guidelines governing shareholder meetings for the 2021 proxy season. The ISS Benchmark Policies for Canadian issuers and Glass Lewis Guidelines focused on key issues, including gender diversity, environmental and social risk oversight, board refreshment, and other corporate governance…
In late May 2020, BDO Canada and Fasken hosted a conversation with leading private equity (PE) firms on the slumping market conditions around the COVID-19 crisis. The panel identified two discrete steps in the PE response:
- Navigating current market conditions
- Emerging from these conditions to thrive
The webinar discussion featured Chad Danard of TriWest Capital Partners, Sameer Patel of Angeles Equity Partners, and Ted Mocarski of Novacap.
1. Navigating current market conditions
The PE-portfolio company relationship
PE investing is a relationship-driven business. During times of uncertainty, strong integration between the firm and portfolio company is especially critical. To lead portfolio companies through a pandemic, PE firms have found it helpful to increase the frequency of communication touchpoints with management teams. This allows them to proactively address market softness and liquidity constraints.
In the near term, companies and firms can expect to switch from offensive to defensive strategies. Instead of focusing on growth opportunities, PE firms will add value by leveraging their past experience in economic downturns and offering advice related to capital preservation.
Continue Reading Private Equity Point of View: Navigating Through, and Emerging From, the Crisis
We have been tracking the impact of Material Adverse Change (MAC) and Material Adverse Effect (MAE) clauses on M&A transactions and how parties to certain M&A transactions are navigating the issues surrounding the termination of transactions in the context of changing business realities due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Another recent case involves Juweel Investors Limited (“Juweel”), the owner of the company carrying on the business of American Express Global Business Travel (“GBT”), a corporate global business travel enterprise with over 10,000 clients in more than 140 countries. In its complaint filed in the Court of Chancery in Delaware on May 11, 2020, Juweel sought an expedited trial to obtain an order to compel several entities related to The Carlyle Group Inc. (“Carlyle”) and GIC (Ventures) Pte. Ltd (through Pure Magenta Investment Pte Ltd.) (collectively, “GIC”, and together with Carlyle, the “Purchasers”) to complete a transaction in which the Purchasers had agreed to acquire an ownership interest in GBT.
The transactions contemplated by the Share Purchase Agreement, dated December 16, 2019 (“SPA”), were scheduled to close on May 7, 2020. As was seen in the Victoria’s Secret case reported on in our earlier post, the Purchasers claim that there was an MAE and that GBT failed to comply with interim operating covenants between signing and closing by not operating in the ordinary course of business.
Continue Reading Terminations of M&A Transactions: Lessons Learned from American Express Global Business Travel
The global coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly had an impact on businesses and M&A activity worldwide. In light of current events, companies negotiating deals and the lawyers penning the contracts are paying closer attention to the paperwork. In particular, careful drafting and thoughtful consideration of the Material Adverse Change (MAC) and Material Adverse Effect (MAE) clauses in transaction agreements (see our previous posts on MAC provisions) and a potential Canadian court decision on MAC clauses (see our previous post of April 30, 2020 and May 7, 2020), as well as the target company’s covenants, representations and warranties and the buyer’s closing conditions related to such representations and warranties, have proven especially important in how parties have been responding to the onset of the pandemic.
In recent months, we have seen a number of attempts in the U.S. to terminate deals on the basis of the impact of the pandemic to target companies’ businesses. …
Continue Reading Terminations of M&A Transactions: Lessons Learned from Victoria’s Secret and WeWork