Toronto securities and M&A lawyers Bradley Freelan and Aaron Atkinson are featured in a story by Corporate Secretary on Fasken Martineau’s newly released 2015 Canadian Hostile Take-Over Bid Study. The lawyers are co-authors of the study. This is the second major piece of empirical deal research that Fasken Martineau has issued in the last few years. In January 2013, the firm released findings from their ground-breaking Canadian Proxy Contest Study and an update to the study in 2014.
As Canadian securities regulators get ready to propose changes to even the playing field for target firms and hostile bidders, a new study finds targets may not be as disadvantaged as believed.
‘So the board can’t just block the bid from proceeding,’ explains securities and M&A lawyer Brad Freelan, a partner at Fasken Martineau and co-author, with Aaron Atkinson, of the report, titled '2015 Canadian hostile takeover bid study’. ‘The concern is, for whatever reason, people feel the playing field isn’t level and that’s one of the impetuses behind changing the rules.’
‘We found in first-mover bids where a hostile bidder initiated a contest for control and put a target in play, bidders won 55 percent of the time, but targets remained independent 28 percent of the time,’ says Atkinson. ‘It really surprised some people how many targets do remain independent, which would cause one to question whether or not the playing field really is uneven.’
‘But when a bid does face competition, the hostile bidder does very poorly: it wins only one third of the time,’ says Freelan.