Toronto securities and M&A partner Bradley Freelan is featured in a story in the April 2015 edition of Lexpert on “Takeovers Not So Hostile: Report”. He is the co-author of the study along with M&A partner Aaron Atkinson. In 2013, the firm released findings from their ground-breaking Canadian Proxy Contest Study and an update to the study in 2014.
About 30 per cent of target boards remained independent after a hostile bid over a 10-year period — one of several key figures highlighted in a study released by a Toronto law firm ahead of an impending proposal by the Canadian Securities Administrators that looks to level the playing field between bidders and target boards.
“The prevailing wisdom was that, once a company is put in play, a change of control is inevitable,” says Bradley Freelan, a lawyer at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP and co-author of the study. “The study shows that where the hostile bidder was the first mover and put the target in play ... 28 per cent of targets remained independent, so I think it is fair to say that a change of control was not, in fact, inevitable.”
“I guess our concern is that, actually, it’s going to have the unintended consequence of decreasing the frequency of hostile bids, so you won’t ever get that into the auction to begin with,” Freelan says.