The securities regulatory authorities in Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec and Saskatchewan have published Multilateral CSA Notice of Amendments to National Instrument 45-106 Prospectus Exemptions Relating to the Offering Memorandum Exemption.
The amendments will introduce an offering memorandum prospectus exemption in Ontario and will modify the existing offering memorandum exemption in Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Québec and Saskatchewan to strengthen investor protection. As a result of the amendments, the offering memorandum exemption will now be available in all jurisdictions of Canada.
“These amendments will enhance access to capital across Canada while introducing key investor protection measures,” said Louis Morisset, CSA chair and president and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers.
The following are some of the key investor protection measures included in the offering memorandum exemption:
- Non-reporting issuers will be required to, among other measures, provide investors with audited annual financial statements and an annual notice describing how the proceeds raised under the offering memorandum exemption were used.
- Any marketing materials will be required to be incorporated by reference in the offering memorandum so that they are subject to the same liability as the disclosure provided in the offering memorandum in the event of a misrepresentation.
- Individual investors relying on the offering memorandum exemption will be subject to investment limits in most cases.
- All investors will be required to sign a risk acknowledgement form.
The offering memorandum exemption was designed to facilitate capital-raising by allowing issuers to solicit investments from a wider range of investors than they would be able to under other prospectus exemptions, provided that certain conditions are met.
Provided all necessary ministerial approvals are obtained, the final amendments will come into force in Ontario on January 11, 2016 and in Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Québec and Saskatchewan on April 30, 2016.
The final amendments do not modify the OM exemption that exists in any CSA jurisdiction other than the participating jurisdictions.