Regulators Restrain a ‘Public Interest’ Push on Poison Pills

Document Type

Media Mention

Publication Date


Source Publication

Financial Post


Canadian securities regulators are about to demonstrate commendable restraint in the exercise of their “public interest” jurisdiction to pre-empt the work of unconflicted boards of directors responding to unsolicited takeovers. The new proposal would allow boards facing hostile bids up to 105 days before regulators intervene with measures that might curtail a board’s discretion, namely cease-trading “poison pill” defences. This is a marked departure from the current “standard” — which is somewhat unevenly applied — of securities regulators often being prepared to cease-trade poison pills after 45-70 days and suggests a regulatory rethinking of when the “public interest” should be invoked.