Australia: ASX proposes to strengthen capital raising options for mid to small caps

Corporate Update (Australia)
Last Updated: 24 April 2012
Article by Mark Burger, Greg Monahan and Sophie Payton

On 2 April 2012, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) released draft changes to the ASX Listing Rules, which increase the capital raising limit for mid to small caps. The proposal forms part of the first phase of listing initiatives that the ASX is rolling out in 2012. The consultation period for the draft changes closes on 14 May 2012.

What are mid to small caps?
The ASX currently defines 'mid to small caps' as listed entities with a market capitalisation of AU$300 million or less, which it says is a good proxy for companies outside of the S&P/ASX 300.

Every six months on the last trading day in May and November, the ASX proposes to compile a list of mid to small caps, which will be published on the ASX's website. Companies on the most recently published list (regardless of any changes in their market capitalisation since the publication date) will be eligible to take advantage of an increased placement cap under proposed Listing Rule 7.1A, as described below.

Increasing the placement cap
In our experience, placements are a particularly important capital raising tool for mid to small caps that often have a narrow range of shareholders, which limits the utility of various other capital raising options, like rights issues and share purchase plans, as fundraising tools. In fact, in recent years, placements have provided up to nearly 70% of the secondary capital needs for mid to small caps.

Under the proposed Listing Rule 7.1A, mid to small caps will be able to seek shareholder approval to issue 10% of their issued capital within 12 months of the approval, provided that the issue is not at a discount of greater than 25% of the market price. This placement capacity will be in addition to the 15% currently permitted under Listing Rule 7.1 without shareholder approval, which will remain unchanged.

Shareholder approval under Listing Rule 7.1A will typically be effective for 12 months, unless the company enters into certain major transactions during that period. As noted above, this will be the case even if the company's market capitalisation increases above AU$300 million during that 12 month period.

It is important to bear in mind that shareholder approval under Listing Rule 7.1A does not 'wipe the slate clean' and provide a company with immediate access to additional placement capacity. Rather, as with the operation of Listing Rule 7.1, a company must assess what its placement capacity is on a rolling 12-month basis. This means that, prior to issuing shares under Listing Rule 7.1A, a company must determine whether its issued capital has exceeded the 10% limit during the immediately preceding 12 months, regardless of whether the relevant shareholder approval has been obtained in the interim.

Additional disclosure obligations
Additional disclosure obligations will apply in relation to placements under Listing Rule 7.1A. By way of example, in order to obtain the required shareholder approval, the notice of meeting must contain (among other things) the following information:

  • The minimum price at which the shares may be issued
  • A statement of the risk of economic and voting dilution of existing shareholders
  • The date by which the new shares may be issued
  • The purpose of the issue
  • Details of previous issues under Listing Rule 7.1A, if any
  • A relevant voting exclusion statement (although it remains unclear how this requirement will operate - being so far in advance of the possible capital raising event).

In addition, following an issue under Listing Rule 7.1A, a company will be required to disclose the following additional information to the market in an updated Appendix 3B:

  • Details of the dilution to existing shareholders as a result of the issue
  • Where the shares are issued for cash, a statement of the reasons why the entity undertook a placement and not a pro rata or other similar issue
  • Details of the allocation policy for the issue
  • Details of the underwriting arrangements including fees
  • Any other fees or costs incurred under the issue.

Take home points
If the proposed Listing Rule changes come into effect, companies with a market capitalisation of approximately AU$300 million should bear the following points in mind:

  • They should monitor the ASX publication of mid to small cap companies to confirm whether the company is on the list.
  • In preparing for its Annual General Meeting (AGM), the directors should consider whether the company is entitled to seek shareholder approval under Listing Rule 7.1A, and if it is, whether the company wishes to do so.
  • If seeking shareholder approval is on the agenda for the AGM, more extensive disclosure requirements apply for the notice of meeting (as set out above).
  • Given the greater restrictions that apply in relation to an issue under Listing Rule 7.1A in comparison to an issue under Listing Rule 7.1 (ie the discount must be less than 25% of the prevailing market price), if the relevant resolution under Listing Rule 7.1A is passed, the directors should consider prioritising an issue under Listing Rule 7.1A over an issue under 7.1 to retain more flexible funding options moving forward.

We will continue to monitor these developments closely and provide further updates as material developments arise.

© DLA Piper

This publication is intended as a general overview and discussion of the subjects dealt with. It is not intended to be, and should not used as, a substitute for taking legal advice in any specific situation. DLA Piper Australia will accept no responsibility for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this publication.

DLA Piper Australia is part of DLA Piper, a global law firm, operating through various separate and distinct legal entities. For further information, please refer to

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.