HNZ Group Inc. (TSX: HNZ.A, HNZ.B) (the “Corporation”), an international provider of helicopter transportation and related support services, announced today that it is taking steps to improve the liquidity for its variable voting shares by aggregating the trading of its common and variable voting shares under a single ticker on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The new ticker will be “HNZ” and trading under this symbol will begin on or about May 19, 2016. The common and variable voting shares currently trade under the symbols HNZ.A and HNZ.B, respectively.
Although the common (HNZ.A) and variable voting (HNZ.B) have traded within a relatively narrow price range, the variable voting (HNZ.B) shares have historically had lower trading volumes and commensurate pricing. Steady Canadian demand has resulted in the majority of trading occurring in the common (HNZ.A) shares and lower trading volumes for the non-Canadian variable voting (HNZ.B) shares. By combining the two ticker symbols, the Corporation aims to facilitate trading, to provide uniform pricing for its securities, and to improve overall liquidity.
The common (HNZ.A) and variable voting (HNZ.B) shares are similar in all respects except for differences which allow the Corporation to comply with the foreign ownership restrictions of the Canada Transportation Act (the “CTA”). These restrictions limit non-Canadian ownership and control of the Corporation’s voting shares to 25% of the voting interests. Canadian shareholders hold common (HNZ.A) shares and non-Canadian shareholders hold variable voting (HNZ.B) shares, the voting rights of which may in certain circumstances differ from those of the common (HNZ.A) shares to facilitate compliance with the CTA.
The articles, by-laws, voting procedures, and shareholder rights plan of the Corporation are unaffected by this change. In addition, the Corporation has obtained a decision from the Autorité des marchés financiers, as principal regulator, and the securities regulatory authorities in the other provinces and territories of Canada, which allows for the common (HNZ.A) and variable voting (HNZ.B) shares to be considered as a single class, instead of on a class-by-class basis, for the purposes of certain early warning reporting, take-over bid and continuous disclosure requirements.
The Corporation will continue to monitor the number of common and variable voting shares outstanding and to require shareholders who wish to vote at shareholder meetings to provide a declaration of their status as a Canadian or non-Canadian.
After the change to a single ticker, both classes of shares will trade under the symbol “HNZ”, bear CUSIP number 40425A308 and will be designated for purposes of trading on the TSX and reporting in brokerage accounts as “Common and Variable Voting Shares” of the Corporation.
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