Canada: La Colombie Britannique simplifie les règles de placement de titres auprès des non-résidents

La commission des valeurs mobilières de la Colombie Britannique (BCSC) permet maintenant aux émetteurs de la province d'accéder à des capitaux à l'extérieur de la province. Depuis le 31 octobre 2017, trois dispenses de prospectus, nouvelles ou améliorées, peuvent être obtenues pour les placements auprès d'acheteurs de l'extérieur de la Colombie Britannique (C.-B.) :

  • Dispense applicable aux placements privés (améliorée)
  • Dispense applicable aux appels publics à l'épargne (nouvelle)
  • Dispense pour sondage d'intérêt (nouvelle)

Les changements sont décrits dans le nouvel Instrument 72-503 Distribution of Securities outside British Columbia (le règlement 72-503 de la C.-B.), qui remplace les anciennes dispositions de ce règlement.

CONTEXTE

  • Aux termes de la législation en valeurs mobilières de la Colombie Britannique et particulièrement du règlement britanno-colombien appelé Instrument 72-702Distribution of Securities to Persons Outside British Columbia, un placement est réputé être réalisé en C.-B. lorsqu'un émetteur ayant des liens importants avec la C.-B. place des titres à l'extérieur de la province.
  • Les émetteurs britanno-colombiens qui placent des titres à l'extérieur de la province doivent donc se conformer aux obligations de prospectus prévues par l'article 61 de la Securities Act, à moins d'être admissibles à une dispense.
  • Même si l'ancien règlement 72-503 de la C.-B. prévoyait une dispense applicable aux placements privés, elle était complexe et bon nombre d'émetteurs étaient confrontés aux retards et aux frais qu'entraîne le recours à une dispense de prospectus ou déposaient un prospectus en C.-B. même lorsque le placement visait des non-résidents.

LES TROIS DISPENSES

Dispense applicable aux placements privés

Aux termes de la nouvelle dispense applicable aux placements privés, il n'est pas obligatoire de déposer un prospectus si le placement respecte les critères suivants :

La plupart des lourdeurs administratives qui complexifiaient le recours à l'ancienne dispense applicable aux placements privés ont été supprimées. Notamment, les changements suivants ont été apportés :

  • L'attestation du statut de non-résident de l'acheteur n'est plus requise.
  • La liste des confirmations qui devait être intégrée dans la convention de souscription n'est plus requise.
  • L'émetteur n'est plus spécifiquement tenu d'être inscrit à la cote d'une des « bourses admissibles » (qualified markets) énumérées dans l'ancien règlement 72-503 de la C.-B.

Tout comme le prévoyait l'ancienne dispense, la première opération effectuée sur un titre acquis en vertu de la nouvelle dispense fait l'objet des restrictions en matière de revente prévues par l'article 2.5 du Règlement 45-102 sur la revente de titres, et une déclaration de placement avec dispense conforme à l'Annexe 45-106A1 doit aussi être déposée auprès de la BCSC dans les 10 jours suivant le placement, accompagnée d'une copie des documents de placement à déposer auprès de l'autorité en valeurs mobilières du territoire de l'acheteur.

Dispense applicable aux appels publics à l'épargne

Aux termes du nouveau règlement 72-503 de la C.-B., un placement est dispensé de l'obligation de prospectus si les critères suivants sont remplis :

  • L'acheteur n'est pas un résident canadien (ce critère est rempli si le placement est fait sur une bourse ou dans un marché situé hors du Canada, tant que l'émetteur ou le porteur de titres vendeur n'a aucun motif de croire que l'acheteur est un résident canadien).
  • L'émetteur a déposé, dans le cadre du placement et conformément à la législation en valeurs mobilières fédérale américaine, une déclaration d'inscription qui a pris effet (ou l'équivalent dans un autre territoire étranger, comme il est décrit dans le règlement).
  • Si l'émetteur est un émetteur assujetti en C.-B., il a déposé la déclaration d'inscription américaine (ou l'équivalent dans un autre territoire étranger) auprès de la BCSC (y compris tout supplément).
  • Si l'émetteur n'est pas un émetteur assujetti en C.-B., il a déposé, dans les 10 jours suivant le placement, une déclaration de placement avec dispense conforme à l'Annexe 45-106A1 auprès de la BCSC et remis une copie de la déclaration d'inscription américaine ou du document équivalent (y compris tout supplément). Dans ce cas, il n'est pas tenu d'inclure l'appendice 1 de l'Annexe 45-106A1 (Renseignements confidentiels sur le souscripteur ou l'acquéreur).

Dispense pour sondage d'intérêt

Le but premier de cette nouvelle dispense de prospectus est de permettre aux émetteurs britanno-colombiens de tirer parti de la JOBS Act des États-Unis, qui permet aux nouveaux émetteurs de communiquer avec les acheteurs institutionnels admissibles (et certains autres investisseurs institutionnels) afin de sonder l'intérêt du marché envers un éventuel appel public à l'épargne aux États-Unis.

Selon le nouveau règlement 72-503 de la C.-B., la dispense pour sondage d'intérêt s'applique uniquement si les communications se font avec des non-résidents du Canada et si elles sont permises par le paragraphe 5(d) de la Securities Act of 1933. Cette dispense n'est pas limitée aux placements réalisés aux États-Unis. Toutefois, l'émetteur qui vise un autre territoire doit s'assurer que la législation en valeurs mobilières de ce territoire contient des dispositions semblables à celles de la JOBS Act des États-Unis.

AUTRES TERRITOIRES

Les lois canadiennes sur les valeurs mobilières ne sont pas harmonisées sur la question du territoire du placement. Bien qu'il soit généralement accepté qu'un placement a lieu dans le territoire où réside l'acheteur, certaines provinces, comme la C.-B., jugent que le placement est plutôt réalisé dans le territoire de l'émetteur. Même si la Commission des valeurs mobilières de l'Ontario adoptait généralement la première approche, elle a récemment publié des modifications de sa règle 72-503 sur les placements à l'extérieur du Canada (Distributions Outside of Canada) (comme nous en avons discuté précédemment ici) qui prévoient certaines dispenses restreintes de l'obligation de prospectus, notamment lorsqu'un placement est réalisé aux termes d'un document relatif à un appel public à l'épargne dans un territoire étranger.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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