The Globe and Mail reports in its Friday edition that provincial regulators are making it easier for public companies to raise money by selling shares directly into the market on a continuing basis. The Globe's Mark Rendell writes that at-the-market programs, known as ATMs, allow companies to sell batches of shares over a period of time at current market prices. This differs from marketed offerings, such as bought deals, where companies sell a block of shares at a preset price.
On Thursday, the Canadian Securities Administrators published amendments to its ATM rules, removing requirements that companies apply for securities law exemptions before launching an
ATM, and removing caps on the number of shares a company can sell using an ATM. The new rules come into effect at the end of August. While the changes have been in the works for several years, the final amendments are emerging when companies in sectors hit hard by COVID-19 are struggling with cash flow, and may be having difficulty raising money. Susan Copland at the Investment Industry Association of Canada, which lobbied for the changes, says the changes will allow issuers to "take advantage of market conditions if they want to hit the market quickly."
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