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Investing in Public Companies

How can I find an investment target?

How can I find an investment target? 150 150 Jiang Hong Wilkin Business Law

One difference between public companies and private companies is that public companies have disclosure obligations. So investors can review the publicly disclosed information to determine where there is a suitable investment target. In Canada public company disclosure documents are available at www.sedar.com, including annual and quarterly financial statements, press releases, prospectuses and other major disclosure documents, material contracts, annual information forms (for TSX companies), etc. Further, the insider information of the public company is also publicly filed, available at www.sedi.ca. Insiders of public companies include its directors, officers and shareholders holding 10% or more. Insiders are required to report the increases and decreases they hold in the public company in shares, options, etc.
Whether you are looking for a public or private investment target, you can always use intermediaries such as brokers or consulting firms to assist in your search. However, intermediaries will generally charge a fee. Also, if the intermediary is in the business of trading or advising, they will need the appropriate securities dealer/advisor registration.

How does a public company go private?

How does a public company go private? 150 150 Jiang Hong Wilkin Business Law

After completion of the acquisition (take-over bid transaction) of a public company, the next important step is going private. There are two applications that need to be made for going private. One is the application to the stock exchange to voluntarily delist the company’s shares. The second application is to the securities commissions to cease to be a reporting issuer (public company). To apply to the securities commissions, the company must have fewer than 50 shareholders. If the take-over bid resulted in the acquiror acquiring 100% of the public company shares, then it is very simple to go private. If the acquiror gets 90% of the public company shares, going private is also fairly easy as the acquiror can forcibly buy the remaining 10%. Once the 100% was acquired and the number of remaining shareholders is below 50, then going private applications should be made to the stock exchange and the securities commissions. If the acquiror does not acquire 90% re more in a take-over bid, then the acquiror must do another transaction to reduce the number of shareholders to below 50. The second transaction may be by way of share consolidation or amalgamation, etc. The acquiror may use a plan of arrangement or amalgamation instead of a take-over bid. If a plan of arrangement or amalgamation is used, then the acquisition of the public company and going private can be accomplished in one transaction. After the company ceases to be a reporting issuer (public company), the company will no longer be subject to audit, financial disclosure and other public company obligations.

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