Companion Policy to National Instrument 44-101 Short Form Prospectus Distributions
Part 4 Content of Short Form Prospectus
Section 4.9

Recent and Proposed Acquisitions

(1) Subsection 10.2(2) of Form 44-101F1 requires prescribed disclosure of a proposed acquisition that has progressed to a state “where a reasonable person would believe that the likelihood of the acquisition being completed is high” and that would, if completed on the date of the short form prospectus, be a significant acquisition for the purposes of Part 8 of NI 51-102. When interpreting the phrase “where a reasonable person would believe that the likelihood of the acquisition being completed is high”, it is our view that the following factors may be relevant in determining whether the likelihood of an acquisition being completed is high:

(a) whether the acquisition has been publicly announced;

(b) whether the acquisition is the subject of an executed agreement; and

(c) the nature of conditions to the completion of the acquisition including any material third party consents required.

The test of whether a proposed acquisition “has progressed to a state where a reasonable person would believe that the likelihood of the acquisition being completed is high” is an objective, rather than subjective, test in that the question turns on what a “reasonable person” would believe. It is not sufficient for an officer of an issuer to determine that he or she personally believes that the likelihood of the acquisition being completed is or is not high. The officer must form an opinion as to what a reasonable person would believe in the circumstances. In the event of a dispute, an objective test requires an adjudicator to decide whether a reasonable person would believe in the circumstances that the likelihood of an acquisition being completed was high. By contrast, if the disclosure requirement involved a subjective test, the adjudicator would assess an individual’s credibility and decide whether the personal opinion of the individual as to whether the likelihood of the acquisition being completed was high was an honestly held opinion. Formulating the disclosure requirement using an objective test rather than a subjective test strengthens the basis upon which the regulator may object to an issuer’s application of the test in particular circumstances.

(2) Subsection 10.2(3) of Form 44-101F1 requires inclusion of the financial statements or other information relating to certain acquisitions or proposed acquisitions if the inclusion of the financial statements or other information is necessary in order for the short form prospectus to contain full, true and plain disclosure of all material facts relating to the securities being distributed. We generally presume that the inclusion of financial statements or other information is required for all acquisitions that are, or would be, significant under Part 8 of NI 51-102. Issuers can rebut this presumption if they can provide evidence that the financial statements or other information are not required for full, true and plain disclosure.

Subsection 10.2(4) of Form 44-101F1 provides that issuers must satisfy the requirements of subsection 10.2(3) of Form 44-101F1 by including either:

(i) the financial statements or other information that would be required by Part 8 of NI 51-102; or

(ii) satisfactory alternative financial statements or other information.

Satisfactory alternative financial statements or other information may be provided to satisfy the requirements of subsection 10.2(3) when the financial statements or other information that would be required by Part 8 of NI 51-102 relate to a financial year ended within 90 days before the date of the prospectus or an interim period ended within 60 days before the date of the prospectus for issuers that are venture issuers, and 45 days for issuers that are not venture issuers. In these circumstances, we believe that satisfactory alternative financial statements or other information would not have to include any financial statements or other information for the acquisition or probable acquisition related to:

(a) a financial year ended within 90 days before the date of the short form prospectus; or

(b) an interim period ended within 60 days before the date of the short form prospectus for issuers that are venture issuers, and 45 days for issuers that are not venture issuers.

An example of satisfactory alternative financial statements or other information that we will generally find acceptable would be:

(c) comparative annual financial statements or other information for the acquisition or probable acquisition for at least the number of financial years as would be required under Part 8 of NI 51-102 that ended more than 90 days before the date of the short form prospectus, audited for the most recently completed financial period in accordance with NI 52-107, and reviewed for the comparative period in accordance with section 4.3 of NI 44-101;

(d) a comparative interim financial report or other information for the acquisition or probable acquisition for any interim period ended subsequent to the latest annual financial statements included in the short form prospectus and more than 60 days before the date of the short form prospectus for issuers that are venture issuers, and 45 days for issuers that are not venture issuers reviewed in accordance with section 4.3 of NI 44-101; and

(e) pro forma financial statements or other information required under Part 8 of NI 51-102.

If the issuer intends to include financial statements as set out in the example above as satisfactory alternative financial statements or other information, we ask that this be highlighted in the cover letter to the prospectus. If the issuer does not intend to include financial statements or other information, or intends to file financial statements or other information that are different from those set out above, we encourage the utilization of pre-filing procedures.

(3) When an issuer acquires a business or related businesses that has itself recently acquired another business or related businesses (an “indirect acquisition”), the issuer should consider whether prospectus disclosure about the indirect acquisition, including historical financial statements, is necessary to satisfy the requirement that the prospectus contain full, true and plain disclosure of all material facts relating to the securities being distributed. In making this determination, the issuer should consider the following factors:

  • if the indirect acquisition would meet any of the significance tests in Part 8 of NI 51-102 when the issuer applies each of those tests to its proportionate interest in the indirect acquisition of the business; and
  • if the amount of time between the separate acquisitions is such that the effect of the first acquisition is not adequately reflected in the results of the business or related businesses the issuer is acquiring. 

(4) Subsection 10.2(3) discusses financial statements or other information for the completed or proposed acquisition of the business or related businesses. This “other information” is intended to capture the financial information disclosures required under Part 8 of NI 51-102 other than financial statements. An example of “other information” would include the operating statements, property descriptions, production volumes and reserves disclosures described under section 8.10 of NI 51-102.



Companion Policy to National Instrument 44-101 Short Form Prospectus Distributions
Part 4 Content of Short Form Prospectus
Section 4.10

Updated pro forma financial statements to date of prospectus

In addition to the pro forma financial statements for completed acquisitions that are required to be included in a business acquisition report incorporated by reference into a prospectus under Item 11 of Form 44-101F1, an issuer may include a set of pro forma financial statement prepared as at the date of the prospectus.