Shareholder Activism: 2019 Trends And Major Developments

Author:Ms Jennifer Longhurst, Patricia L. Olasker, Aaron J. Atkinson, Franziska Ruf and Jeffrey Nadler
Profession:Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg
 
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While 2019 to date has witnessed fewer proxy contests in Canada compared with the corresponding period in 2018, activity increased in some industries, notably the resource sector, to levels not seen since 2015. We have also observed a number of important developments, including some that may be indicative of broader trends in proxy contest strategy. Two key developments in 2019 that we discuss in this chapter were the increased public involvement of institutional shareholders in contested situations and an uptick in activists' use of universal proxies. This year, market participants also received the long-awaited regulatory response to concerns about the use of soliciting dealer fees (or "vote buying") in proxy contests, which we review. We also discuss a recent decision of the B.C. Supreme Court, affirming that controversies relating to...

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