The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday edition that companies have begun taking advantage of new Canadian rules that make it easier to raise capital by selling stock directly into the market, heralding the growth of a popular low-cost financing tool in Canada.
The Globe's Christine Dobby and Mark Rendell write that the Canadian Securities Administrators changed the rules for at-the-market equity offerings, known as ATMs, on Aug. 31, removing limits tied to market capitalization and daily trading volume, and eliminating the need to seek advance permission from regulators. ATMs allow public companies to sell shares into the market on a continuing basis at prevailing prices rather than issuing a large block of stock at once at a fixed price. The rule chance aligns more closely with U.S. rules.
Hydrogen-fuel-cell maker Ballard Power Systems, which is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market, launched a cross-border ATM worth $250-million (U.S.) the first day after the rule change.
Ballard did its first ATM earlier this year, raising $75-million (U.S.) through a U.S.-only offering it launched in March. The company says that around 75 per cent of Ballard's shares trade on Nasdaq.
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