November 08, 2006
When Ottawa slammed the window on income trusts last week, it also lowered the curtain on 20 years of legal wizardry that spawned 240 trusts.
Phil Brown and Jamie Scarlett have advised companies or investment banking advisers on more than 100 income trust IPOs. A record 415 clients listened to the pair explain the consequences of the income trust decision on a conference call Thursday morning.
Looking ahead, Phil and Jamie believe the healthiest income trusts will be converted into traditional publicly listed companies, while the weaker players will likely merge or be acquired as the sector consolidates. They are already getting calls from would-be acquirors, and urging clients to sit still until Ottawa releases detailed rules underpinning the new income trust regime.
"There is a great need for the market to have certainty right now," says Jamie. "Ottawa is mistaken if they think it's okay to delay this."