Securities Law & Instruments

Headnote

 

Section 6.1 of NI 62-104 – Issuer bid – relief from the requirements applicable to issuer bids in Part 2 of NI 62-104 – Issuer proposes to purchase, at a discounted purchase price, up to 292,500 of its common shares from one of its shareholders – due to the discounted purchase price, proposed purchases cannot be made through the TSX trading system – but for the fact that the proposed purchases cannot be made through the TSX trading system, the Issuer could otherwise acquire the subject shares in accordance with the TSX rules governing normal course issuer bids, in reliance on the issuer bid exemption in subsection 4.8(2) of NI 62-104 – the selling shareholder did not purchase the subject shares in anticipation or contemplation of resale to the Issuer and no common shares have been purchased by the selling shareholder for a minimum of 30 days prior to the date of the application seeking the requested relief in anticipation or contemplation of a sale of common shares by the selling shareholder to the Issuer – no adverse economic impact on, or prejudice to, the Issuer or other security holders – proposed purchases exempt from the requirements applicable to issuer bids in Part 2 of NI 62-104, subject to conditions, including that the Issuer not purchase, in the aggregate, more than one-third of the maximum number of shares to be purchased under its normal course issuer bid by way of off-exchange block purchases, and that the Issuer not make any proposed purchase unless it has first obtained written confirmation from the selling shareholder that between the date of the order and the date on which the proposed purchase is completed, the selling shareholder has not purchased, had purchased on its behalf, or otherwise accumulated, any common shares of the Issuer to re-establish its holdings of common shares which will have been reduced as a result of the sale of the subject shares pursuant to the proposed purchases.

 

Applicable Legislative Provisions

 

National Instrument 62-104 Take-Over Bids and Issuer Bids, Part 2 and s. 6.1.

 

IN THE MATTER OF

THE SECURITIES ACT,

R.S.O. 1990, c.S.5, AS AMENDED

 

AND

 

IN THE MATTER OF

GILDAN ACTIVEWEAR INC.

 

ORDER

(Section 6.1 of National Instrument 62-104)

 

                UPON the application (the “Application”) of Gildan Activewear Inc. (the “Issuer”) to the Ontario Securi-ties Commission (the “Commission”) for an order pursuant to section 6.1 of National Instrument 62-104 Take-Over Bids and Issuer Bids (“NI 62-104”) exempting the Issuer from the requirements applicable to issuer bids in Part 2 of NI 62-104 (the “Issuer Bid Requirements”) in respect of the proposed purchases by the Issuer of up to 292,500 common shares of the Issuer (collectively, the “Subject Shares”) in one or more tranches from The Royal Bank of Canada (the “Selling Shareholder”);

 

                AND UPON considering the Application and the recommendation of staff of the Commission;

 

                AND UPON the Issuer (and the Selling Share-holder in respect of paragraphs 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 18, 29 and 30 as they relate to the Selling Shareholder) having represented to the Commission that:

 

1.             The Issuer is a corporation governed by the Canada Business Corporations Act.

 

2.             The head and registered office of the Issuer is located at 600 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West, 33rd Floor, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 3J2.

 

3.             The Issuer is a reporting issuer in each of the provinces of Canada and the common shares of the Issuer (the “Common Shares”) are listed for trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (the “TSX”) and the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “GIL”. The Issuer is not in default of any requirement of the securities legislation in the jurisdictions in which it is a reporting issuer.

 

4.             The authorized share capital of the Issuer consists of an unlimited number of (a) Common Shares, (b) First Preferred Shares and (c) Second Preferred Shares. As of October 31, 2016, 231,812,432 Common Shares were issued and outstanding and no First Preferred Shares or Second Prefer-red Shares were issued and outstanding.

 

5.             The corporate headquarters of the Selling Shareholder is located in the Province of Ontario.

 

6.             The Selling Shareholder does not, directly or indirectly, own more than 5% of the issued and outstanding Common Shares.

 

7.             The Selling Shareholder is the beneficial owner of at least 292,500 Common Shares. All of the Subject Shares are held by the Selling Shareholder in the Province of Ontario. None of the Subject Shares were acquired by, or on behalf of, the Selling Shareholder in anticipation or contemplation of resale to the Issuer.

 

8.             No Common Shares were purchased by, or on behalf of, the Selling Shareholder on or after October 17, 2016, being the date that was 30 days prior to the date of the Application, in anticipation or contemplation of a sale of Common Shares by the Selling Shareholder to the Issuer.


9.             The Subject Shares are held by the Selling Shareholder in connection with arrangements to hedge client transactions in respect of the Common Shares. Between the date of this Order and the date on which a Proposed Purchase (as defined below) is to be completed, the Selling Shareholder will not purchase, have purchased on its behalf, or otherwise accumulate, any Common Shares to re‑establish its holdings of Common Shares which will have been reduced as a result of the sale of Subject Shares pursuant to the Proposed Purchases.

 

10.          The Selling Shareholder is at arm's length to the Issuer and is not an “insider” of the Issuer or an “associate” of an “insider” of the Issuer, or an “associate” or “affiliate” of the Issuer, as such terms are defined in the Securities Act (Ontario) (the “Act”). The Selling Shareholder is an “accre-dited investor” within the meaning of National Instrument 45-106 Prospectus Exemptions.

 

11.          The Issuer announced on February 24, 2016 the initiation of a normal course issuer bid (the “Normal Course Issuer Bid”) to purchase for cancellation up to 12,192,814 Common Shares, representing approximately 4.99% of the Issuer’s issued and outstanding Common Shares as of the date specified in the Notice of Intention to Make a Normal Course Issuer Bid (the “Notice”) which was submitted to and accepted by the TSX. The Notice specified that purchases made under the Normal Course Issuer Bid are to be conducted through the facilities of the TSX and the NYSE or alternative trading systems, if eligible, or by such other means as may be permitted by the TSX or a securities regulatory authority in accordance with sections 628 to 629.3 of Part VI of the TSX Company Manual (the “TSX NCIB Rules”), includ-ing by private agreements pursuant to issuer bid exemption orders issued by securities regulatory authorities (each, an “Off-Exchange Block Pur-chase”).

 

12.          On February 26, 2016 the Commission issued an order pursuant to clause 104(2)(c) of the Act exempting the Issuer from the requirements appli-cable to issuer bids then in effect in connection with the proposed purchases by the Issuer of up to 1,600,000 Common Shares from The Toronto Dominion Bank pursuant to private agreements (the “TD Order”). The Issuer has purchased 1,600,000 Common Shares under the TD Order.

 

13.          On February 26, 2016 the Commission issued an order pursuant to clause 104(2)(c) of the Act exempting the Issuer from the requirements applicable to issuer bids then in effect in connection with the proposed purchases by the Issuer of up to 450,000 Common Shares from The Bank of Nova Scotia pursuant to private agreements (the “BNS Order”). The Issuer has purchased 450,000 Common Shares under the BNS Order.

 

14.          On February 26, 2016 the Commission issued an order pursuant to clause 104(2)(c) of the Act exempting the Issuer from the requirements applicable to issuer bids then in effect in connection with the proposed purchases by the Issuer of up to 1,975,000 Common Shares from the Bank of Montreal and/or BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. pursuant to private agreements (the “BMO Order”, and together with the TD Order and the BNS Order, the “Existing Orders”). The Issuer has purchased 1,975,000 Common Shares under the BMO Order.

 

15.          The Issuer announced on July 27, 2016 the amendment of its Normal Course Issuer Bid (the “Amended Normal Course Issuer Bid”), increasing the maximum number of Common Shares that could be repurchased from 12,192,814 to 20,727,784 Common Shares, representing approximately 8.6% of the public float of Common Shares as of the date specified in the amended Notice of Intention to Make a Normal Course Issuer Bid (the “Amended Notice”) which was submitted to and accepted by the TSX. No other terms of the Normal Course Issuer Bid were amended. The Amended Notice specifies that purchases made under the Amended Normal Course Issuer Bid are to be conducted through the facilities of the TSX and the NYSE or alternative trading systems, if eligible, or by such other means as may be permitted by the TSX or a securities regulatory authority in accordance with the TSX NCIB Rules, including by Off-Exchange Block Purchases.

 

16.          As at October 31, 2016, the Issuer repurchased for cancellation a total of 12,192,814 Common Shares under the Amended Normal Course Issuer Bid, including 4,025,000 Common Shares pursuant to the Existing Orders.

 

17.          The Issuer implemented an automatic share purchase plan (“ASPP”) on March 24, 2016 to permit the Issuer to make purchases under its Normal Course Issuer Bid at such times when the Issuer would not be permitted to trade in the Common Shares, including during internal blackout periods (each such time, a “Blackout Period”). The ASPP was pre-cleared by the TSX and complies with the TSX NCIB Rules, applicable securities laws and this Order. Under the ASPP, at times it is not subject to blackout restrictions, the Issuer may, but is not required to, instruct the designated broker under the ASPP (the “ASPP Broker”) to make purchases under its Normal Course Issuer Bid in accordance with the terms of the ASPP. Such purchases will be determined by the ASPP Broker in its sole discretion based on parameters established by the Issuer prior to any Blackout Period in accordance with TSX rules, applicable securities laws (including this Order) and the terms of the agreement between the ASPP Broker and the Issuer. If the Issuer determines to instruct the ASPP Broker to make purchases under the ASPP during a particular Blackout Period, the Issuer will instruct the ASPP Broker not to conduct a block purchase (a “Block Purchase”) in reliance on the block purchase exception in clause 629(l)7 of the TSX NCIB Rules in the calendar week in which the Issuer either (a) completes a Proposed Purchase, or (b) a Blackout Period ends and a new trading window of the Issuer opens.

 

18.          The Issuer and the Selling Shareholder intend to enter into one or more agreements of purchase and sale (each, an “Agreement”) pursuant to which the Issuer will agree to acquire some or all of the Subject Shares from the Selling Shareholder in one or more purchases, each of which will occur before February 25, 2017 (each such purchase, a “Proposed Purchase”) for a purchase price (each such price, a “Purchase Price” in respect of such Proposed Purchase) that will be negotiated at arm's length between the Issuer and the Selling Shareholder. The Purchase Price will, in each case, be at a discount to the prevailing market price and below the prevailing bid-ask price for the Common Shares on the TSX at the time of each Proposed Purchase.

 

19.          The Subject Shares acquired under each Proposed Purchase will constitute a “block” as that term is defined in section 628 of the TSX NCIB Rules.

 

20.          The purchase of any of the Subject Shares by the Issuer pursuant to an Agreement will constitute an “issuer bid” for the purposes of the Act, to which the applicable Issuer Bid Requirements would apply.

 

21.          Because the Purchase Price will, in each case, be at a discount to the prevailing market price and below the prevailing bid-ask price for the Common Shares on the TSX at the time of each Proposed Purchase, none of the Proposed Purchases can be made through the TSX trading system and, therefore, will not occur “through the facilities” of the TSX. As a result, the Issuer will be unable to acquire Subject Shares from the Selling Shareholder in reliance upon the exemption from the Issuer Bid Requirements that is available pursuant to subsection 4.8(2) of NI 62-104.

 

22.          But for the fact that the Purchase Price will be at a discount to the prevailing market price and below the prevailing bid-ask price for the Common Shares on the TSX at the time of each Proposed Purchase, the Issuer could otherwise acquire the Subject Shares through the facilities of the TSX as a Block Purchase in accordance with the block purchase exception in clause 629(1)7 of the TSX NCIB Rules and the exemption from the Issuer Bid Requirements that is available pursuant to subsection 4.8(2) of NI 62-104.

 

23.          The sale of any of the Subject Shares to the Issuer will not be a “distribution” (as defined in the Act).

 

24.          For each Proposed Purchase, the Issuer will be able to acquire the applicable Subject Shares from the Selling Shareholder without the Issuer being subject to the dealer registration requirements of the Act.

 

25.          Management of the Issuer is of the view that: (a) the Issuer will be able to purchase the Subject Shares at a lower price than the price at which it would otherwise be able to purchase Common Shares under the Amended Normal Course Issuer Bid in accordance with the TSX NCIB Rules and the exemption from the Issuer Bid Requirements available pursuant to subsection 4.8(2) of NI 62-104; and (b) the Proposed Purchases are an appropriate use of the Issuer's funds.

 

26.          The purchase of Subject Shares will not adversely affect the Issuer or the rights of any of the Issuer's security holders and it will not materially affect control of the Issuer. To the knowledge of the Issuer, the Proposed Purchases will not prejudice the ability of other security holders of the Issuer to otherwise sell Common Shares in the open market at the then prevailing market price. The Proposed Purchases will be carried out at minimal cost to the Issuer.

 

27.          To the best of the Issuer's knowledge, as of November 25, 2016, the “public float” for the Common Shares represented approximately 98% of all the issued and outstanding Common Shares for the purposes of the TSX NCIB Rules.

 

28.          The Common Shares are “highly-liquid securities” within the meaning of section 1.1 of OSC Rule 48‑501 Trading during Distributions, Formal Bids and Share Exchange Transactions and section 1.1 of the Universal Market Integrity Rules.

 

29.          Other than the Purchase Price, no fee or other consideration will be paid by the Issuer in connection with the Proposed Purchases.

 

30.          At the time that each Agreement is negotiated or entered into by the Issuer and the Selling Shareholder and at the time of each Proposed Purchase, neither the Issuer, nor any member of the Equity Trading Group of the Selling Shareholder, nor any personnel of the Selling Shareholder that negotiated the Agreement or made, participated in the making of, or provided advice in connection with, the decision to enter into the Agreement and sell the Subject Shares, will be aware of any “material change” or “material fact” (each as defined in the Act) in respect of the Issuer that has not been generally disclosed.

 

31.          The Issuer will not make any Proposed Purchase unless it has first obtained confirmation in writing from the Selling Shareholder that, between the date of the Order and the date on which a Proposed Purchase is to be completed, the Selling Shareholder has not purchased, had purchased on its behalf, or otherwise accumulated, any Common Shares to re-establish its holdings of Common Shares which will have been reduced as a result of the sale of Subject Shares pursuant to the Proposed Purchases.

 

32.          The Issuer will not purchase, pursuant to Off-Exchange Block Purchases, in the aggregate, more than one-third of the maximum number of Common Shares that the Issuer can purchase under the Amended Normal Course Issuer Bid, such one-third being equal to 6,909,261 Common Shares as of the date of this Order, taking into account, for greater certainty, the Subject Shares and the Common Shares which are the subject of the Existing Orders.

 

33.          No Agreement will be negotiated or entered into during a Blackout Period. If a Blackout Period is in effect, the Issuer will not purchase Subject Shares pursuant to the Proposed Purchases until the later of (a) the end of such Blackout Period, and (b) the passage of two clear trading days from the date of the dissemination to the public of the Issuer’s financial results and/or any and all “material changes” or any “material facts” (each as defined in the Act) in respect of the Issuer or the Common Shares relating to such Blackout Period.

 

34.          Assuming completion of the purchase of the maximum number of Subject Shares, being 292,500 Common Shares, and taking into account the purchase of the maximum number of Common Shares under the Existing Orders, being 4,025,000 Common Shares, the Issuer will have purchased under the Normal Course Issuer Bid an aggregate of 4,317,500 Common Shares pursuant to Off-Exchange Block Purchases, representing approximately 20.8% of the maximum of 20,727,784 Common Shares authorized to be purchased under the Normal Course Issuer Bid.

 

                AND UPON the Commission being satisfied that to do so would not be prejudicial to the public interest;

 

                IT IS ORDERED pursuant to section 6.1 of NI 62-104 that the Issuer be exempt from the Issuer Bid Requirements in connection with the Proposed Purchases, provided that:

 

(a)           the Proposed Purchases will be taken in-to account by the Issuer when calculating the maximum annual aggregate limit that is imposed upon the Issuer's Amended Normal Course Issuer Bid in accordance with the TSX NCIB Rules;

 

(b)           the Issuer will refrain from conducting either a Block Purchase in accordance with the TSX NCIB Rules or another Off-Exchange Block Purchase during the calendar week in which it completes a Proposed Purchase and will not make any further purchases under the Amended Normal Course Issuer Bid for the remainder of the calendar day on which it completes a Proposed Purchase;

 

(c)           the Purchase Price in respect of each Proposed Purchase will be at a discount to the last “independent trade” (as that term is used in paragraph 629(1)1 of the TSX NCIB Rules) of a board lot of Common Shares immediately prior to the execution of such Proposed Purchase;

 

(d)           the Issuer will otherwise acquire any additional Common Shares pursuant to the Amended Normal Course Issuer Bid in accordance with the Amended Notice and the TSX NCIB Rules, including by means of open market transactions and by other means as may be permitted by the TSX, and, subject to condition (i) below, by Off-Exchange Block Pur-chases;

 

(e)           immediately following each Proposed Purchase of Subject Shares from the Selling Shareholder, the Issuer will report the purchase of such Subject Shares to the TSX;

 

(f)            at the time that each Agreement is negotiated or entered into by the Issuer and the Selling Shareholder and at the time of each Proposed Purchase, neither the Issuer, nor any member of the Equity Trading Group of the Selling Shareholder, nor any personnel of the Selling Shareholder that negotiated the Agreement or made, participated in the making of, or provided advice in connection with, the decision to enter into the Agreement and sell the Subject Shares, will be aware of any “material change” or “material fact” (each as defined in the Act) in respect of the Issuer that has not been generally disclosed;

 

(g)           in advance of the first Proposed Purchase, the Issuer will issue a press release disclosing (i) its intention to make the Proposed Purchases, and (ii) that information regarding each Proposed Purchase, including the number of Sub-ject Shares purchased and the aggregate Purchase Price, will be available on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (“SEDAR”) following the completion of each Proposed Purchase;

 

(h)           the Issuer will report information regarding each Proposed Purchase, including the number of Subject Shares purchased and the aggregate Purchase Price, on SEDAR before 5:00 p.m. (Toronto time) on the business day following such Proposed Purchase;

 

(i)            the Issuer does not purchase, pursuant to Off-Exchange Block Purchases, in the aggregate more than one-third of the maximum number of Common Shares the Issuer can purchase under its Amended Normal Course Issuer Bid, such one-third being equal to, as of the date of this Order, 6,909,261 Common Shares; and

 

(j)            the Issuer will not make any Proposed Purchase unless it has first obtained confirmation in writing from the Selling Shareholder that, between the date of this Order and the date on which a Proposed Purchase is to be completed, the Selling Shareholder has not purchased, had purchased on its behalf, or otherwise accumulated, any Common Shares to re-establish its holdings of Common Shares which will have been reduced as a result of the sale of Subject Shares pursuant to the Proposed Purchases.

 

Dated at Toronto this 30th day of November, 2016.

 

“Naizam Kanji”

Director, Office of Mergers & Acquisitions

Ontario Securities Commission