CSA revive proposals for venture issuer disclosure

23 mai 2014

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The Canadian Securities Administrators yesterday published proposed amendments to disclosure rules intended to tailor and streamline the disclosure required of venture issuers. According to the CSA, the proposed amendments are designed to focus venture issuers' disclosure on information that reflects the expectations of venture issuer investors, while eliminating disclosure of less value.

To that end the proposal would, among other things (i) allow the MD&A requirement for interim financial periods to be satisfied through the filing of a streamlined "quarterly highlights" report where a venture issuer lacks significant revenue; (ii) implement a tailored form of executive compensation disclosure for venture issuers that would reduce the number of individuals for whom disclosure would be required to a maximum of three and reduce the number of years of disclosure to two; (iii) decrease the circumstances under which a venture issuer would have to file a business acquisition report by increasing the asset and investment test thresholds under which an acquisition would be considered "significant" from 40% to 100%; and (iv) reduce to two years the number of years of audited financial statements required in an initial public offering prospectus for an issuer seeking to become a venture issuer. With respect to certain of the proposals, issuers would be able to choose to comply with the existing requirements applicable to all reporting issuers or to comply with the new venture-specific requirements.

As we've previously discussed, the CSA's earlier proposal to create a comprehensive regulatory regime for venture issuers, which would have consisted of a stand-alone rule and included corporate governance requirements, was shelved in 2013. While the CSA have retained some of the disclosure-related elements of the previous proposals, the amendments proposed today are intended to make targeted changes to existing rules.

The CSA are accepting comments on the proposal until August 20, 2014.

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