On March 13, 2014 the Canadian Securities Administrators announced that the securities commissions in all of the Canadian jurisdictions except Ontario and Newfoundland are introducing a prospectus exemption that, subject to certain conditions, allows issuers listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV), Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) or Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) to raise money by distributing securities to their existing security holders.

The exemption for existing securities holders permits listed issuers to issue listed securities to their existing security holders, subject to a number of conditions:

  • the issuer must have a class of equity securities listed on the TSXV, TSX or CSE;
  • the offering can consist only of a class of equity securities listed on the TSXV, TSX, or CSE, or units consisting of the listed security and a warrant to acquire the listed security;
  • the issuer must make the offering available to all existing security holders that hold the same type of listed security;
  • unless the investor has obtained suitability advice from a registered investment dealer, the investor can only invest a maximum of $15,000 per issuer under the exemption in a 12-month period;
  • the issuer must have filed all timely and periodic disclosure documents as required under applicable securities laws;
  • the issuer must issue a news release disclosing the proposed offering, including details of the use of proceeds;
  • each investor must confirm in writing to the issuer that, as at the record date, they held the type of listed security offered under the exemption;
  • an investor must be provided with certain rights of action in the event of a misrepresentation in the issuer’s continuous disclosure record; and
  • although an offering document is not required, if an issuer voluntarily provides one, the issuer must file the offering document with the securities regulatory authority and an investor will have certain rights of action in the event of a misrepresentation in it.

Issuers will have to file a report of exempt distribution within 10 days after each distribution under the exemption.