Canada: Nouveau mode d'inscription à la TSX : l'initiative Sandbox rend officiellement possible l'exercice par le personnel de son pouvoir discrétionnaire d'assouplir certaines exigences

La TSX, principale bourse du Canada, a dévoilé dernièrement « TSX Sandbox », initiative qui constituera une solution de rechange à l’inscription en bourse ou à l’inscription d’autres titres par les émetteurs inscrits existants et ce, dans le cas de certaines sociétés admissibles. TSX Sandbox est conçu pour atteindre son but au moyen d’un cadre qui guidera la TSX dans l’exercice de son pouvoir discrétionnaire d’accepter les demandes au mérite, même si elles ne sont pas conformes à toutes ses exigences habituelles.

Outre la plus grande souplesse qu’il peut offrir à bon nombre de sociétés ouvertes actuelles et en devenir, TSX Sandbox est également censé servir un intérêt public plus large, car il permet à la TSX de mettre à l’essai de nouvelles initiatives liées aux politiques (p. ex., l’assouplissement de certaines règles), dont la mise en œuvre officielle prendrait autrement beaucoup de temps.

Admissibilité

Selon l’initiative expliquée en détail dans l’Avis du personnel 2019-0002 (12 avril 2019), dans le cadre de TSX Sandbox, les requérantes de tous les secteurs et à tous les stades de croissance peuvent présenter des demandes d’inscription initiale et les émetteurs déjà inscrits à la TSX peuvent présenter des demandes d’inscription additionnelles, y compris à l’égard de nouveaux financements.

Comment présenter une demande?

Pour présenter une demande, les requérantes doivent suivre la procédure habituelle, mais elles doivent y joindre une requête dans laquelle elles indiquent qu’elles souhaitent que la demande soit examinée dans le cadre de TSX Sandbox ainsi qu’un exposé traitant des critères d’admissibilité pertinents.

Processus d’évaluation

Les requérantes éventuelles seront évaluées au cas par cas en fonction de différents facteurs. Très généralement, ces facteurs comptent la preuve d’un vaste soutien public, l’intérêt des investisseurs et des pratiques de gouvernance d’entreprise bien établies. Les facteurs plus particuliers recherchés par la TSX sont les suivants (entre autres) :

  • Équipe de direction, conseil d’administration et autres intervenants expérimentés ayant fait leurs preuves au sein des marchés publics;
  • Grande mobilisation de capitaux publics entraînant une large distribution des titres visés;
  • Capitalisation boursière suffisante;
  • Importants flux de trésorerie avant impôt provenant des activités;
  • Société constituée au Canada ou dans un territoire dont les pratiques de gouvernance d’entreprise sont comparables à celles du Canada;
  • Prospectus ordinaire récemment visé par un membre des Autorités canadiennes en valeurs mobilières ou relevé d’inscription des États-Unis récemment entré en vigueur par suite d’un dépôt auprès de la SEC;
  • Parrainage par une organisation participante de la TSX, ou commentaires ou soutien d’une autre entité disposant d’une expertise reconnue à l’égard du secteur concerné.

Les émetteurs d’un marché émergent et les requérantes qui ont déjà fait une demande auprès de la TSX (le personnel de la TSX peut faire des exceptions dans ce dernier cas) ne peuvent participer à TSX Sandbox. Parmi les autres facteurs d’exclusion, on compte les suivants : (i) l’existence de renseignements négatifs (y compris dans les médias) concernant la requérante, son équipe de direction ou son conseil, (ii) historique de sanctions ou d’enquêtes visant la requérante ou son équipe de direction, les membres de son conseil d’administration, des initiés ou des personnes affiliées.

D’après l’Avis du personnel, les demandes qui constituent une première sont encouragées et pourraient profiter de TSX Sandbox. La TSX précise que la décision d’exercer son pouvoir discrétionnaire en faveur d’un type de requérantes ne signifie pas nécessairement que les requérantes semblables seront automatiquement inscrites ou approuvées. Ces demandes ultérieures substantiellement semblables pourraient devoir attendre jusqu’à ce que la TSX ait eu l’occasion d’analyser les incidences sur le marché de la demande (semblable) qui constituait une première.

Conditions

Même si la TSX peut approuver une inscription ou accorder certaines dispenses ou exemptions aux requérantes approuvées dans le cadre de TSX Sandbox, elle peut simultanément imposer des conditions particulières supplémentaires au maintien de l’inscription de la requérante. Voici les conditions qui pourraient être imposées (entre autres) :

  • Montant minimal pour les capitaux publics mobilisés et capitalisation boursière minimale;
  • Parrainage amélioré et exigences d’entiercement accrues;
  • Limite de temps pour l’inscription ou la dispense;
  • Exigences de communication de l’information accrues applicables aux documents de placement et d’information continue, dans lesquels il faut indiquer que la demande a été approuvée par l’entremise de TSX Sandbox et communiquer les risques liés à l’inscription réalisée au moyen de TSX Sandbox, ainsi que les exemptions, dispenses et conditions particulières appliquées.

Quitter Sandbox

Lorsque les dispenses ou les exemptions accordées aux termes du programme ne sont plus nécessaires ou que l’émetteur a rempli les conditions particulières applicables à l’inscription réalisée au moyen de TSX Sandbox, son objectif est de sortir du cadre TSX Sandbox et d’être assujetti aux exigences de maintien de l’inscription habituelles de la TSX.

À venir

Même si les autorités en valeurs mobilières ont mis en place des programmes aux objectifs similaires, comme le bac à sable réglementaire des ACVM et la Rampe de lancement de la CVMO, l’initiative TSX Sandbox semble être une idée nouvelle pour une bourse. Au fur et à mesure de son évolution, TSX Sandbox pourrait devenir une plateforme par l’entremise de laquelle les requérantes admissibles procéderont à des inscriptions ou à des financements nouveaux. Toutefois, seul le temps nous dira comment la TSX exercera son pouvoir discrétionnaire par l’entremise de TSX Sandbox, son incidence éventuelle sur l’émetteur qui s’inscrit à la TSX au moyen de TSX Sandbox et la manière dont TSX Sandbox façonnera l’évolution des politiques et des exigences de la TSX.

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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