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Provincial regulators propose new Canadian rules for corporate takeovers

TORONTO – Canada’s provincial and territorial securities regulators are proposing amendments to rules for corporate takeovers.

The regulators say the amendments would give boards of takeover targets sufficient time to respond to hostile bids.

They say the rules would also give shareholders time to make informed, voluntary decisions.

Among other things, the rules would require a bidder to obtain tenders from at least half of the securities held by the target company’s stockholders — not counting the bidder and its allies.

Currently, a bidder may require that 50 per cent of the target stock is submitted, but has the option to remove that requirement.

The rules would also increase the time that takeover bid is initially open to at least 120 days, subject to certain exceptions that could reduce that time to as little as 35 days.

The current rules require a minimum of 35 days after a takeover bid and provides for extensions.

The amendments disclosed Tuesday by the Canadian Securities Administrators are a refinement of a proposal announced last September. The latest changes will be open for public comment until June 29.