ASX’s proposals to reduce the timetables for entitlement offers are intended to ensure that traditional rights issues remain a viable capital raising mechanism, facilitate flexibility in capital raising mechanisms and better accommodate the diversity of ASX-listed companies across the credit cycle. Listed entities seeking to raise capital, and advisers facilitating rights issues, will need to ensure that they have in place the necessary operational arrangements to meet the new timetables when the changes are implemented, which ASX has indicated will not be before January 2014.
Following extensive consultation with stakeholders, ASX has released exposure draft amendments to the Listing Rules which:
- remove the need for ASX waivers for most accelerated entitlement offers;
- introduce standard timetables for common types of accelerated entitlement offers; and
- reduce the timetables for all entitlement offers.
To improve the attractiveness of traditional rights issues as a mechanism for raising capital, the typical timetable for non-accelerated entitlement offers will be reduced from 26 business days to 19 business days. This will be achieved by reducing:
- the period from the ex date to the record date from 5 business days to 3 business days;
- the period from the record date to the date that documents are sent to shareholders from a maximum of 4 business days to 3 business days;
- the offer period from a minimum of 10 business days to 7 business days; and
- the period from the offer close to the issue date from a maximum of 6 business days to 5 business days.
ASX has indicated that implementation of the proposed changes will not occur before January 2014 and has undertaken to provide substantial notice to market users ahead of the implementation date.
The closing date for submissions on the draft amendments is 17 June 2013 .