Category: Corporate

U.S. Subsidiaries of Canadian Companies Face Imminent Reporting Deadline For Federal Survey

Canadian companies with U.S. subsidiaries and investments should note upcoming deadlines for filing reports required by U.S. Department of Commerce rules. These mandatory reports are required to be filed with the Bureau of Economic Analysis (“BEA”) within the U.S. Department of Commerce by May 31, 2018, if made by hardcopy, or by June 30, 2018, if made electronically. The affected U.S. subsidiary companies are those in which a non-U.S. person owns or controls, directly or indirectly, 10 percent or more of the company’s voting securities if the U.S. subsidiary company is incorporated, or in which a non-U.S. person holds that same degree of ownership or control through other means if the U.S. subsidiary company is...

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Requires More Than a Policy

The recent settlement agreement between Kinross Gold Company and the Securities and Exchange Commission is a reminder to Canadian cross-listed companies that it is not enough to adopt a parent-company level anti-corruption policy designed to promote compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Effective implementation and monitoring at the operating level is also needed. In Kinross’ case, the SEC charged, in effect, that Kinross had acquired two African mining operations from a third party, was aware of deficiencies in the mines’ controls at the time of acquisition, failed to timely put in place appropriate controls, and then failed to maintain them once implemented. Specifically, SEC alleged that Kinross awarded a logistics contract...

Loans to U.S. Subsidiaries Should Be Carefully Structured and Documented to Obtain U.S. Tax Benefits

Canadian companies should carefully structure and document loans and advances to their U.S. subsidiaries. If loans to U.S. subsidiaries are not properly structured and documented, such loans may be recharacterized as equity investments for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and important U.S. tax benefits will be lost. Properly structured loans are treated as debt for U.S. federal income tax purposes with favorable tax treatment. The U.S. subsidiary may deduct interest paid in computing taxable income. Such interest payments to its Canadian parent corporation are generally not subject to U.S. withholding tax under the Canada – U.S. income tax treaty. Repayment of the principal amount is generally not subject to U.S. tax for both...

Delaware Corporations – Don’t Authorize Too Many Shares, or “No Par Value” Shares

Occasionally, we will see Canadians or Canadian companies assume that they can authorize as many shares for issuance as they want when forming a Delaware corporation, or that they can authorize shares without par value. That’s technically true, but Delaware will make you pay dearly for it, up to $180,000 per company per year. A Delaware corporation must pay the state an annual franchise tax. This tax is initially based on the number of authorized shares. Provided the authorized shares have a stated par value, the tax assessment can be re-calculated on an assumed par value basis using a formula that involves the number of shares authorized for issuance by the certificate of...

Foreign Private Issuer Calculation Date for Calendar Year-End Foreign Issuers is June 30, 2017

As a reminder to all foreign issuers that have a December 31 fiscal year end, the upcoming end of their second fiscal quarter, June 30, 2017, will be the calculation date for their status as a foreign private issuer (“FPI”) for purposes of both the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). We recommend that issuers begin the analysis early to determine whether actions should be taken prior to the June 30th date to avoid an unintentional loss of FPI status. An early determination of the business nexus test (as described below) is also needed to...

Cross-Border Loan Transactions: Supplementing Canadian Law Governed Loan Documents with Collateral and Guaranty Documents Governed by U.S. Law

Many cross-border loan transactions involve subsidiaries that are organized in the United States and/or U.S. based collateral. To the extent that the underlying loan is made to a Canadian borrower by a Canadian lender, these transactions are typically documented with loan agreements governed by Canadian law (often under the law of the Province where the primary Canadian borrower is organized, but sometimes based on the law of a Province selected by the Canadian lender). In many of these transactions, in addition to the Canadian law governed documents, the Canadian lenders will also require the use of U.S. law governed documents for guarantees provided by U.S. organized subsidiaries and Security Agreements for collateral owned by U.S....

Reminder of Required IRS Cost Basis Reporting for Canadian Companies

Canadian companies should be aware that if they engage in certain “organizational actions” that affect the tax basis of shares held by U.S. persons (including many types of acquisitions and business combinations where shares are issued to U.S. persons), they are required by the U.S. tax laws to evaluate the effect of the action on the U.S. holder’s tax basis and disclose this information in a completed Form 8937 promptly following the action. Internal Revenue Code Section 6045B and IRS From 8937 require corporations to report an “organizational action” that affects the tax basis of its shares held by U.S. individuals and certain other tax entities. Canadian residents who are U.S. citizens or...

SEC Provides Clarification of Foreign Private Issuer Calculation

For Canadian issuers and their advisers, compliance with U.S. securities laws generally begins with the question: Is the issuer a “foreign private issuer”? The FPI definition, which is set out in Rule 405 under the Securities Act and 3b-4(c) of the Exchange Act, involves the following four inquiries: Are more than 50% of the issuer’s outstanding voting securities held of record, directly or indirectly, by residents of the United States? Are a majority of the issuer’s executive officers and directors citizens or residents of the United States? Are a majority of the issuer’s assets in the United States? Is the issuer’s business principally administered from within the United States? While the FPI test...

Staying Onside the Regulation D Bad Boy Disqualifications

Most non-underwritten private placements of securities by Canadian companies to U.S. investors are made in reliance upon Rule 506 of Regulation D. Since September 2013, this exemption has been subject to “bad boy disqualifications.” Generally speaking, a company is prohibited from relying on Rule 506 if the company, any of its predecessors, any of its affiliated issuers, or any of its directors, officers, general partners, managing members or promoters has been subject to certain convictions, orders, judgments, decrees in the United States or suspension or expulsion of membership from certain organizations in the United States. In addition, if any person has been or will be paid (directly or indirectly) remuneration for solicitation of...

Canadian Plan of Arrangement – Do I Need U.S. Counsel?

You’re a Canadian public company with no U.S. operations.  You don’t file reports with the SEC.  You plan to merge with another Canadian public company in a share-for-share exchange, structured as a Canadian plan of arrangement.  Do you need to hire U.S. counsel to assist on this Canadian deal? Yes. Canadian public companies invariably have shareholders resident in the United States.  If the acquirer will issue shares to the target shareholders, or if there will be an amalgamation in which shareholders of both companies receive shares of amalco, the transaction will be deemed to involve the offer and sale of securities to the U.S. shareholders.  This requires either registration with the SEC and...