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Are trends in proxy contests in Canada reversing? Fasken Martineau reveals the latest trends in its 2015 Update to its Canadian Proxy Contest Study

Fasken
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Fasken Martineau today released the 2015 Update to its ground-breaking Canadian Proxy Contest Study released in 2013.

Toronto (Canada) – Fasken Martineau, a leading international business law firm, today released the 2015 Update to its ground-breaking Canadian Proxy Contest Study released in 2013. This is the third installment of the firm’s proxy series. The study was co-authored by Aaron Atkinson and Bradley Freelan, Toronto-based M&A partners at Fasken Martineau who have extensive experience in contested transactions.

The 2015 Update reveals some interesting reversals in previously identified trends. Highlights from 2014 were:

  1. 2014 witnessed the fewest contests since 2010, but only a slight decrease from the previous year. More than half of the contests were in the mining and energy sectors.
  2. Management had its strongest results since 2011, winning 58% of board-related contests and two of the three transaction-related contests.
  3. After a surprising banner year in 2013, retail shareholders launched only one contest in 2014.
  4. Seeking a full slate of the board (versus a short slate) continues to remain the preferred (and more successful) strategy.
  5. There was a steep drop in the number of settlements, perhaps as a sign of the strength of management’s performance in 2014.

“We want to continue to explore the trends that we identified in our 2013 Canadian Proxy Contest Study and our 2014 Update. The 2015 Update shows some interesting reversals in trends from the previous years. For example, management struck back in 2014, posting its first winning year since 2011,” said M&A partner Aaron Atkinson.

“It was also interesting to note that, perhaps as a sign of the strength of management’s performance in 2014, settlements dropped precipitously, with only one contest ending in settlement and four dissidents unilaterally withdrawing prior to the meeting. It remains to be seen whether 2014 was an anomaly or a sign of things to come,” added M&A partner Bradley Freelan.

Download a copy of the Canadian Proxy Contest Study: 2015 Update, the original 2013 Canadian Proxy Contest Study or the 2014 Update. Also co-authored by Aaron Atkinson and Bradley Freelan is the recently released 2015 Canadian Hostile Take-Over Bid Study.

About Fasken Martineau

Fasken Martineau is a leading international business law and litigation firm. With more than 770 lawyers, the firm has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec City, London, Paris and Johannesburg. For additional information, please visit the firm's website at www.fasken.com.

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