Photo of Neil Wiener

Neil Wiener practices securities law with an emphasis on financing and mergers & acquisitions. He advises on a broad range of securities law matters, including public offerings, private placements, stock exchange listings, take-over bids, going-private transactions, reverse take-overs and shareholder proxy fights. Neil acts as lead counsel in equity and debt offerings for both issuers and dealers and in M&A transactions.

The “Listed Issuer Financing Exemption”, known as “LIFE”, will enter into effect on November 21, 2022[i]. As its name suggests, LIFE is a prospectus exemption for distributions of securities listed for trading on a recognized Canadian stock exchange. LIFE is intended to help smaller listed issuers raise capital without incurring significant costs, a

The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) Company Manual provides in section 461.3[1] that an issuer listed on TSX must adopt a majority voting policy “unless it otherwise satisfies the Majority Voting Requirement in a manner acceptable to TSX, for example, by applicable statute, articles, by-laws or other similar instruments”.
Continue Reading CBCA Corporations Listed on TSX Can Repeal Their Majority Voting Policies

In May 2022, the Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”) issued Staff Notice 2022-0001 (the “Staff Notice”)[1] on normal course issuer bids (“NCIBs”), “providing guidance on Sections 628 and 629 of the TSX Company Manual … for frequently asked questions in respect of normal course issuer bids”. Of the 35 FAQs in the Staff Notice, one question in particular has important implications for listed issuers carrying out NCIBs on TSX.
Continue Reading Toronto Stock Exchange Staff Notice on Normal Course Issuer Bids

On May 20, 2021, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) announced [1] a 120-day comment period for proposed amendments to National Instrument 51-102 Continuous Disclosure Obligations (“NI 51-102”)[2] under the unwieldy title “Proposed Amendments to National Instrument 51-102 Continuous Disclosure Obligations and Other Amendments and Changes Relating to Annual and Interim Filings of Non-Investment Fund Reporting Issuers and Seeking Feedback on a Proposed Framework for Semi-Annual Reporting – Venture Issuers on a Voluntary Basis[3]. The proposed amendments and request for comments follow CSA Consultation Paper 51-404 Considerations for Reducing Regulatory Burden for Non-Investment Fund Reporting Issuers issued in April 2017[4].

The proposed amendments to NI 51-102 include combining an issuer’s annual financial statements, management’s discussion and analysis (MD&A) and annual information form into one annual reporting document called an “annual disclosure statement”, and combining interim financial statements and MD&A into an “interim disclosure statement” for quarterly reporting purposes, all as set out in proposed Part 3A of NI 51-102. According to the CSA, subject to the comment process and required regulatory approvals, the final amendments to NI 51-102 are expected to become effective on December 15, 2023.
Continue Reading For Non-TSX Companies, Twice a Year May be Enough

At the time of previous financial crises, the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) granted blanket relief to listed issuers from its $0.05 per share minimum pricing requirement for various share issuances. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many TSXV issuers trading at less than $0.05, the TSXV issued a Bulletin on April 8, 2020 providing important relief (Temporary Relief) from certain requirements of the TSXV Corporate Finance Manual. In particular, the Temporary Relief removes in the specific cases set out below the TSXV’s $0.05 minimum price for share issuances by issuers whose “Market Price” is $0.05 or less, subject to a new minimum of $0.01, until September 30, 2020.

By way of background, a number of TSXV Policies, including Policy 4.1 Private Placements, incorporate the concepts of “Market Price” and “Discounted Market Price”. The terms are defined in TSXV Policy 1.1 Interpretation; “Market Price” is the last closing price of an issuer’s shares prior to the issuance of a news release or filing with the TSXV of Form 4A – Price Reservation Form for a share issuance, while “Discounted Market Price” is “Market Price” less maximum permitted discounts (for example, 25% if the closing price is up to $0.50), but subject in all cases to a minimum price per share of $0.05. This reflects a long-standing, fundamental rule of the TSXV – the TSXV does not permit shares to be issued from treasury at less than $0.05, so as to prevent excessive dilution.
Continue Reading Shades of Crises Past – The TSX Venture Exchange Provides Temporary Relief from the $0.05 Minimum Pricing Requirement

On March 26, 2020, Corporations Canada issued a notice (Notice) entitled “Annual meetings of federal corporations during the COVID-19 outbreak”.  The Notice acknowledges that hosting in-person annual meetings during the COVID-19 outbreak would contradict public health advice to practice physical distancing and self-isolation to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and outlines options for federal corporations to consider in order to remain compliant with the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA).
Continue Reading 2020 Annual Meetings – Notice from Corporations Canada

On March 23, 2020, the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) issued Staff Notice 2020-0002 granting temporary blanket relief from certain provisions of the TSX Company Manual (Manual) and the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) issued a “Notice to Issuers” with similar temporary blanket relief, both in response to the

In January 2018, we posted this article on Timely Disclosure, “Bringing Your Annual Meeting into the Digital Age”. Virtual annual meetings have become highly relevant in light of the Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. Shareholders may well be reluctant to attend annual meetings; numerous public companies are examining measures they can take so that

We noted in our post of January 18, 2018 that the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) were reconsidering whether the CSA’s disclosure-based approach for issuers with U.S. marijuana-related activities remained appropriate.  The CSA’s reconsideration was triggered by an announcement on January 4, 2018 by Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the United States, which expressly rescinded previous nationwide guidance from the Obama-era specific to marijuana enforcement (or forbearance therefrom) in the United States, including a “Memorandum for All United States Attorneys” dated August 29, 2013 from James M. Cole, then-Deputy Attorney General of the United States.  As we noted, while medicinal marijuana is legal in numerous American states and recreational marijuana is legal in several states, marijuana remains illegal at the federal level in the United States, thus creating a dilemma for the CSA with respect to Canadian issuers with marijuana-related activities in the United States.

On February 8, 2018, the CSA published CSA Staff Notice 51-352 (Revised) Issuers with U.S. Marijuana-Related Activities (Revised 51-352), setting out the expectations of CSA staff with respect to disclosure for specific risks faced by issuers with marijuana-related activities in the United States.  In short, the CSA have maintained their disclosure-based approach for Canadian issuers with marijuana-related activities in the United States, as opposed to prohibiting such issuers from raising funds in Canada or listing on a Canadian stock exchange.  Issuers will continue to be able to raise funds and list in Canada, notwithstanding the fact that their operations may be illegal under United States federal law and that they may face prosecution at any time, as long as such risks are adequately disclosed.Continue Reading The Saga Continues: Marijuana, United States Federal Law and the Canadian Securities Administrators