06/23/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/23/2021 14:01
Filed pursuant to Rule 424(b)(5)
Registration No. 333-253468
The information in this prospectus supplement is not complete and may be changed. This prospectus supplement is not an offer to sell these securities, and we are not soliciting offers to buy these securities, in any state or other jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.
SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED JUNE 23, 2021
PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT
(To Prospectus dated March 8, 2021)
PORTAGE BIOTECH INC.
We are offering ordinary shares in this offering.
Our ordinary shares are listed on The Nasdaq Stock Market, or Nasdaq, under the symbol 'PRTG.' On June 22, 2021, the last reported sale price of our ordinary shares on Nasdaq was $33.91 per share.
Investing in our ordinary shares involves risks. See 'Risk Factors' beginning on page S-7 of this prospectus supplement and page 5 of the accompanying base prospectus, and in the risks discussed under similar headings in the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus, and any free writing prospectus that we have authorized for use in connection with this offering.
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus supplement or the accompanying base prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
|Price to public||$||$|
|Underwriting discounts and commissions(1)||$||$|
|Proceeds to us (before expenses)||$||$|
(1) See 'Underwriting' for additional information regarding the compensation payable to the underwriters.
We have granted an option to the underwriters for a period of 30 days to purchase up to additional ordinary shares on the same terms and conditions set forth above. If the underwriters exercise the option in full, the total proceeds to us, before expenses, will be approximately $ .
The underwriters expect to deliver the ordinary shares against payment on or about , 2021.
Joint Book-Running Managers
|Cantor||Oppenheimer & Co.|
The date of this prospectus supplement is , 2021.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|About this Prospectus Supplement||S-3|
|Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information||S-4|
|Prospectus Supplement Summary||S-5|
|Use of Proceeds||S-9|
|Notice to Investors||S-19|
|Where You Can Find More Information||S-22|
|Incorporation of Certain Documents By Reference||S-22|
|About this Prospectus||3|
|Where You Can Find More Information; Incorporation by Reference||3|
|Use of Proceeds||12|
|Description of Ordinary Shares we may offer||12|
|Description of the Warrants we may offer||19|
|Description of the Debt Securities we may offer||20|
|Description of the Units we may offer||22|
|Plan of Distribution||22|
|Certain United States Federal Income Tax Considerations||24|
|Enforceability of Civil Penalties||25|
ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT
This prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus is part of a registration statement that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, utilizing a 'shelf' registration process. Under the shelf registration process, we may offer our ordinary shares having an aggregate offering price of up to $200,000,000 from time to time. The shelf registration statement was initially filed with the SEC on February 24, 2021, and was declared effective by the SEC on March 8, 2021. As of the date of this prospectus supplement, have sold an aggregate $2.6 million of securities pursuant to the shelf registration statement.
We provide information to you about this offering of our ordinary shares in two separate documents that are bound together: (1) this prospectus supplement, which describes the specific details regarding this offering; and (2) the accompanying base prospectus, which provides general information, some of which may not apply to this offering. Generally, when we refer to this 'prospectus,' we are referring to both documents combined. If information in this prospectus supplement is inconsistent with the accompanying base prospectus, you should rely on this prospectus supplement. However, if any statement in one of these documents is inconsistent with a statement in another document having a later date-for example, a document incorporated by reference in this prospectus-the statement in the document having the later date modifies or supersedes the earlier statement as our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since the earlier dates. We further note that the representations, warranties and covenants made by us in any agreement that is filed as an exhibit to any document that is incorporated by reference herein were made solely for the benefit of the parties to such agreement, including, in some cases, for the purpose of allocating risk among the parties to such agreement, and should not be deemed to be a representation, warranty or covenant to you. Moreover, such representations, warranties or covenants were accurate only as of the date when made. Accordingly such representations, warranties and covenants should not be relied on as accurately representing the current state of our affairs.
You should rely only on the information contained in, or incorporated by reference into, this prospectus supplement, the accompanying base prospectus, and in any free writing prospectus that we may authorize for use in connection with this offering. We have not, and the underwriters have not, authorized any other person to provide you with different information. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. We and the underwriters are offering to sell, and soliciting offers to buy, ordinary shares only in jurisdictions where offers and sales are permitted and are not offering to sell or soliciting offers to buy our securities in any jurisdiction in which an offer or solicitation is not authorized or in which the person making that offer or solicitation is not qualified to do so or to anyone to whom it is unlawful to make an offer or solicitation. The distribution of this prospectus and the offering of the ordinary shares in certain jurisdictions may be restricted by law. Persons outside the United States who come into possession of this prospectus must inform themselves about, and observe any restrictions relating to, the offering of the ordinary shares and the distribution of this prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus outside the United States. You should assume that the information appearing in this prospectus, the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus, and in any free writing prospectus that we may authorize for use in connection with this offering, is accurate only as of the date of those respective documents. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since those dates. You should read this prospectus, the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus, and any free writing prospectus that we may authorize for use in connection with this offering, in their entirety before making an investment decision. You should also read and consider the information in the documents to which we have referred you in the sections of this prospectus entitled 'Where You Can Find More Information' and 'Incorporation of Certain Documents By Reference.'
This prospectus supplement, the accompanying base prospectus and the documents we incorporate by reference contain and reference certain market data and industry statistics and forecasts that are based on Company-sponsored studies, independent industry publications and other publicly available information. Although we believe these sources are reliable, we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information and we have not verified any of this data. Further, many of these statements involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, including those discussed under 'Risk Factors' in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus and under similar headings in the documents incorporated by reference herein and therein. Accordingly, investors should not place undue reliance on this information.
For purposes of this prospectus, references to the terms 'we,' 'us,' 'our company,' 'the company,' 'our' or 'Portage' refers to Portage Biotech Inc., a British Virgin Islands company, its predecessor entities and its wholly and partially owned subsidiaries; all references to '$,' 'dollars' or 'U.S. dollars' refer to the legal currency of the United States; all references to '£' and 'pounds sterling' refer to the legal currency of the United Kingdom; all references to '€' or 'euro' refer to the official currency of the European Union and the currency that is used in certain of its member states; and 'shares' or 'ordinary shares' refers to the authorized ordinary shares of Portage Biotech Inc., with no par value. This prospectus and the information incorporated by reference herein and therein include trademarks, service marks and trade names owned by us or other companies. All trademarks, service marks and trade names included or incorporated by reference into this prospectus are the property of their respective owners.
Additionally, unless otherwise stated or the context requires otherwise, all information in this prospectus supplement assumes that the option to purchase additional ordinary shares that we have granted to the underwriters is not exercised.
STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
This prospectus contains 'forward-looking statements' that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. The statements contained in this prospectus that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the 'Securities Act,' and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act. Forward-looking statements are often identified by the use of words such as, but not limited to, 'anticipate,' 'believe,' 'can,' 'continue,' 'could,' 'estimate,' 'expect,' 'intend,' 'may,' 'plan,' 'project,' 'seek,' 'should,' 'strategy,' 'target,' 'will,' 'would' and similar expressions or variations intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are based on the beliefs and assumptions of our management based on information currently available to management. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results and the timing of certain events to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those identified below and those discussed in this section of the prospectus titled 'Risk Factors.' Furthermore, such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this prospectus. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements.
Please consider our forward-looking statements in light of those risks as you read this prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus. It is not possible for our management to predict all risks, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements we may make. Given these uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.
You should not assume that the information contained in this prospectus is accurate as of any date other than as of the date of this prospectus and that any information incorporated by reference into this prospectus is accurate as of any date other than the date of the document so incorporated by reference. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future. Thus, you should not assume that our silence over time means that actual events are bearing out as expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements.
If one or more of these or other risks or uncertainties materializes, or if our underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual results may vary materially from what we anticipate. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us or individuals acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by this Note. Before purchasing any of our ordinary shares, you should consider carefully all of the factors set forth or referred to in this prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference that could cause actual results to differ.
PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT SUMMARY
This summary highlights certain information about us, this offering and selected information contained in this prospectussupplement and the accompanying base prospectus,. This summary is not complete and does not contain all of the information that you should consider before deciding whether to invest in our ordinary shares. For a more complete understanding of our company and this offering, we encourage you to read and consider the more detailed information in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus, including 'Risk Factors' section and the financial statements and related notes and other documents or information included or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus before making an investment decision.
We are a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing a diversified pipeline of immuno-oncology therapies with transformative potential for cancer patients. Our strategy is to build a pipeline of first-in-class/best-in-class therapeutic candidates, focus on assets that we believe have novel technology, employ differentiated mechanisms that address resistance to the current approved agents, and have strong commercial informed proof of concept experiments which could attract early pharma interest. In approximately five plus years, we have efficiently developed or in-licensed a pipeline of seven distinct platforms. We continue to prioritize assets with the highest return for our people and resources and maintain capital efficiency. Specifically, before we advance a therapeutic candidate into clinical development, we evaluate its ability to generate an immune system response as a single agent and compare to existing available alternatives. Importantly, we have terminated programs that do not meet our rigorous criteria for advancement and will continue to do so when we believe and alternatively will endeavor to out-license or monetize such programs. We currently have three clinical-stage candidates in development and seven different immuno-oncology platforms. We believe our approach will allow us to advance at least one therapeutic candidate into the clinic and one program into IND-enabling studies each year for at least the next several years.
In March 2021, we entered into a Sales Agreement with Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. relating to our ordinary shares. In accordance with the terms of the Sales Agreement, we may offer and sell our ordinary shares having an aggregate offering price of up to $50,000,000, from time to time, through Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., acting as sales agent. As of the date of this prospectus supplement, we have sold an aggregate $2.6 million ordinary shares pursuant to the Sales Agreement.
The clinical trials for the iOx Therapeutics Ltd. product, IMM65, were started in April 2021.
The Company had held a 25% interest in Nekonal Oncology Limited ('Nekonal') through SalvaRx Limited ('SalvaRx'). In 2019 SalvRx and Nekonal came into dispute about Nekonal's achievement of certain milestones that would have required SalvaRx to provide further funding to Nekonal and the additional equity due for further funding. In 2021, to settle the dispute, SalvaRx surrendered its equity interest in Nekonal.
On March 4, 2021, the Company announced the divestiture of its interests in and the residual liabilities of its legacy businesses, Portage Pharmaceuticals, Eygen Ltd, and Portage Glasgow Ltd to Juvanescence Ltd., a company developing therapies to transform the way people age. In return, the Company received a license from Juvanescence with milestone payments payable to the Company of up to $244 million based on specified development criteria. The divestiture will permit the Company to focus its efforts on its immune-oncology research and development. The transaction is considered a related party transaction due to the common shareholder ownership between the companies.
We are a British Virgin Islands company. Our principal executive/administrative offices are located at 6 Adelaide St. East, Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5C 1H6, and our telephone number is (416) 737-7600. Our website address is https://www.portagebiotech.com. We make available free of charge through our website our annual and other reports that we file with the SEC, including amendments to those reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file material with, or furnish such material to, the SEC. Information on or accessed through our website is not incorporated into this prospectus and is not a part of this prospectus. Our ordinary shares are listed on NASDAQ under the symbol 'PRTG.'
Ordinary shares to be offered by us pursuant to this prospectus:
Option to purchase additional
|We have granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to additional common shares. This option is exercisable, in whole or in part, for a period of 30 days from the date of this prospectus supplement.|
|Ordinary shares outstanding as of the commencement of this offering:||12,083,395 ordinary shares.|
|Use of Proceeds:||We currently intend to use the net proceeds from this offering for working capital and general corporate purposes, which include, but are not limited to, advancing the company's product portfolio, acquiring rights to new product candidates and general and administrative expenses. See 'Use of Proceeds.'|
|Risk Factors:||You should read the 'Risk Factors' section of this prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus and in the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus for a discussion of factors to consider before deciding to purchase our ordinary shares.|
(1) The number of ordinary shares that will be outstanding immediately after this offering as shown above is based on 12,083,395 ordinary shares outstanding as of March 31, 2021. The number of shares outstanding as of March 31, 2021, as used throughout this prospectus, unless otherwise indicated, excludes:
•49,701 ordinary shares issuable upon the exercise of outstanding warrants with a weighted average exercise price of $6.64 per ordinary share;
•90,888 ordinary shares issued pursuant to the Sales Agreement with Cantor Fitzgerald & Co since March 31, 2021;
•On June 25, 2020, at the annual meeting of shareholders, the company's new incentive stock option plan (the '2020 Stock Option Plan') was approved, which authorized the directors to fix the option exercise price and to issue stock options under the plan as they see fit. The 2020 Stock Option Plan is a 10% rolling stock option plan under which the directors are authorized to grant up to a maximum of 10% of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares on the date of grant for future issuance. Through May 31, 2021, 243,000 restricted stock units and 868,000 stock options had been granted under the 2020 Stock Option Plan; and
•1,618 shares issuable to LifeSci Advisors LLC pursuant to a Master Service Agreement, dated January 15, 2021.
Unless we specifically state otherwise, all information in this prospectus supplement assumes no exercise of outstanding options and warrants described above and that the underwriters do not exercise their option to purchase up to additional ordinary shares.
Investing in our ordinary shares involves a high degree of risk, and you should be able to bear the complete loss of your investment. You should consider carefully the risks described below and those described under the section captioned 'Risk Factors' contained in our most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, as amended on March 26, 2021, any subsequent Annual Reports on Form 20-F, any subsequent filings on Form 6-K, and all other information contained or incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus before deciding whether to purchase any of the ordinary shares being offered under this prospectus. If any of the risks actually occur, our business, consolidated financial condition or results of operations could be adversely affected. In such case, the trading price of our ordinary shares could decline and you could lose all or part of your investment. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements made throughout this prospectus supplement, the accompanying base prospectus or the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus as a result of different factors, including the risks we face described below.
Our management will have broad discretion over the use of proceeds from this offering and may not use the proceeds effectively.
Our management will have considerable discretion in the application of the net proceeds, and you will not have the opportunity, as part of your investment decision, to assess whether the proceeds are being used appropriately. The net proceeds, if any, may be used for corporate purposes that do not improve our operating results or enhance the value of our ordinary shares. The failure of our management to use these funds effectively could have a material adverse effect on our business, cause the market price of our ordinary shares to decline and impair the commercialization of our products and/or delay the development of our product candidates. Pending their use, we may invest the net proceeds from this offering in short-term, investment-grade, interest-bearing instruments and U.S. government securities. These investments may not yield a favorable return to our shareholders.
If you purchase ordinary shares sold in this offering, you will incur immediate and substantial dilution.
If you purchase ordinary shares in this offering, you will experience substantial and immediate dilution in the net tangible book value per share because the price that you pay will be substantially greater than the net tangible book value per share of the ordinary shares that you acquire. For more information, see 'Dilution.'
Our need for future financing may result in the issuance of additional securities which will cause investors to experience dilution.
Our cash requirements may vary from those now planned depending upon numerous factors, including the results of future research and development activities. We expect our expenses to increase if and when we initiate and conduct additional clinical trials, and seek marketing approval for our product candidates. Accordingly, we will need to obtain substantial additional funding in connection with our continuing operations. There are no other commitments by any person for future financing. Our securities may be offered to other investors at a price lower than the price per share offered to current shareholders, or upon terms which may be deemed more favorable than those offered to current shareholders. In addition, the issuance of securities in any future financing may dilute an investor's equity ownership and have the effect of depressing the market price for our securities, including the ordinary shares. Moreover, we may issue derivative securities, including options and/or warrants, from time to time, to procure qualified personnel or for other business reasons. The issuance of any such derivative securities, which is at the discretion of our board of directors, may further dilute the equity ownership of our shareholders.
We may sell ordinary shares or other securities in any other offering at a price per share that is less than the price per share paid by investors in this offering, and investors purchasing ordinary shares or other securities in the future could have rights superior to existing shareholders. The price per share at which we sell additional ordinary shares, or securities convertible or exchangeable into ordinary shares, in future transactions may be higher or lower than the price per share paid by investors in this offering. No assurance can be given as to our ability to procure additional financing, if required, and on terms deemed favorable to us. To the extent additional capital is required and cannot be raised successfully, we may then have to limit our then current operations and/or may have to curtail certain, if not all, of our business objectives and plans.
Our share price has fluctuated in the past, has recently been volatile and may be volatile in the future, and as a result, investors in our ordinary shares could incur substantial losses.
Our stock price has fluctuated in the past, has recently been volatile and may be volatile in the future. The stock market in general and the market for biotechnology companies in particular has experienced volatility that has often been unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies. As a result of this volatility, investors may experience losses on their investment in our ordinary shares. The market price for our ordinary shares may be influenced by many factors, including, but not limited to, the following:
• investor reaction to our business strategy;
• the success of competitive products or technologies;
•results of clinical studies or future product candidates or those of our competitors;
•regulatory or legal developments, especially changes in laws or regulations applicable to our products;
•introductions and announcements of new products by us, results of clinical trials, our commercialization partners, or our competitors, and the timing of these introductions or announcements;
•actions taken by regulatory agencies with respect to our products, clinical studies, manufacturing process or sales and marketing terms;
•variations in our financial results or those of companies that are perceived to be similar to us;
•the success of our efforts to acquire or in-license additional products or product candidates;
•developments concerning our collaborations;
•announcements by us or our competitors of significant acquisitions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures or capital commitments;
•developments or disputes concerning patents or other proprietary rights, including patents, litigation matters and our ability to obtain patent protection for our products;
•our ability or inability to raise additional capital and the terms on which we raise it;
•the recruitment or departure of key personnel;
•market conditions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors;
•declines in the market prices of stocks generally;
•actual or anticipated changes in earnings estimates or changes in stock market analyst recommendations regarding our ordinary shares, other comparable companies, or our industry generally;
•trading volume of our ordinary shares;
•sales of our ordinary shares by us or our shareholders;
•general economic, industry and market conditions;
•other events or factors, including those resulting from such events, or the prospect of such events, including war, terrorism and other international conflicts, public health issues including health epidemics or pandemics such as COVID-19, and natural disasters such as fire, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados or other adverse weather and climate conditions, whether occurring in the United States or elsewhere, could disrupt our operations, disrupt the operations of our suppliers or result in political or economic instability; and
•the other risks described in this 'Risk Factors' section and the 'Risk Factors' sections included in the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus.
These broad market and industry factors may seriously harm the market price of our ordinary shares, regardless of our operating performance. Since the stock price of our ordinary shares has fluctuated in the past, has been volatile from time to time, and may be volatile in the future, investors in our ordinary shares could incur substantial losses. In the past, following periods of volatility in the market, securities class-action ligation has often been instituted against companies. Such litigation, if instituted against us, could result in substantial costs and diversion of management's attention and resources, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.
We have additional securities available for issuance, which, if issued, could adversely affect the rights of the holders of our ordinary shares.
Our articles and memorandum authorizes the issuance of an unlimited number of ordinary shares, upon resolution of our board of directors, without shareholder approval. Any future issuances of ordinary shares would further dilute the percentage ownership of us held by holders of our ordinary shares. In addition, the issuance of additional shares may be used as an 'anti-takeover' device without further action on the part of our shareholders, and may adversely affect the holders of the ordinary shares.
USE OF PROCEEDS
The net proceeds to us from the sale of our ordinary shares will be approximately million, or approximately $ million if the option to purchase additional ordinary shares is exercised in full by the underwriters, in each case, after deducting underwriting discounts and offering expenses payable by us.
We currently intend to use the net proceeds from this offering for working capital and general corporate purposes, which include, but are not limited to, advancing the company's product portfolio, acquiring rights to new product candidates and general and administrative expenses. The amounts and timing of our actual expenditures will depend on numerous factors including the progress in, and costs of, our clinical trials and other preclinical development programs and the amount of funding, if any, received from grants and other third party agreements. Accordingly, our management will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds, and investors will be relying on the judgment of management regarding the application of the net proceeds from the offering. We may find it necessary or advisable to reallocate the net proceeds of this offering; however, any such reallocation would be substantially limited to the categories set forth above as we do not intend to use the net proceeds for other purposes. Pending such uses set forth above, we plan to invest the net proceeds in short-term, investment-grade, interest-bearing instruments and U.S. government securities.
If you invest in our ordinary shares, your interest will be diluted to the extent of the difference between the public offering price per share you pay in this offering and the net tangible book value per share of our ordinary shares immediately after this offering.
Net tangible book value per ordinary share is determined by subtracting our total liabilities from our total tangible assets, which is total assets less intangible assets, and dividing this amount by the number of ordinary shares outstanding. The net tangible book value of our ordinary shares, as of December 31, 2020, was approximately ($8,755,000), or ($0.72) per share. Dilution in net tangible book value per share represents the difference between the amount per share paid by purchasers of ordinary shares in this offering and the net tangible book value per share of our ordinary shares immediately after this offering.
After giving effect to the sale of ordinary shares in this offering at an offering price of $ per share, and after deducting estimated commissions and offering expenses payable by us, our as adjusted net tangible book value at December 31, 2020 would have been approximately $ million, or $ per share. This represents an immediate increase in net tangible book value of $ per share to our existing shareholders and an immediate dilution in net tangible book value of $ per share to new investors purchasing ordinary shares this offering. The following table illustrates this dilution:
|Assumed offering price per share||$|
|Net tangible book value per share as of December 31, 2020||$||(0.72||)|
|Increase in net tangible book value per share attributable to investors participating in this offering||$|
|As adjusted net tangible book value per share after giving effect to this offering||$|
|As adjusted dilution per share to investors participating in this offering||$|
If the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase up to additional ordinary shares, the as adjusted net tangible book value will increase to $ per share, representing an immediate increase in the as adjusted net tangible book value to existing shareholders of $ per share and an immediate dilution of $ per share to new investors participating in this offering.
To the extent that we issue any securities that permit conversion into ordinary shares, such as options or we issue restricted stock or otherwise issue additional ordinary shares in the future, at a price less than the public offering price in this offering, there will be further dilution to the investors. In addition, we may choose to raise additional capital due to market conditions or strategic considerations even if we believe we have sufficient funds for our current or future operating plans. To the extent that additional capital is raised through the sale of equity, securities convertible into ordinary shares or convertible debt securities, the issuance of these securities could result in further dilution to our shareholders.
The table and discussion above are based on 12,083,395 ordinary shares issued and outstanding as of March 31, 2021 and excludes as of that date:
⬤49,701 ordinary shares issuable upon the exercise of outstanding warrants with a weighted average exercise price of $6.64 per ordinary share;
⬤90,888 ordinary shares issued pursuant to the Sales Agreement with Cantor Fitzgerald & Co since March 31, 2021;
⬤On June 25, 2020, at the annual meeting of shareholders, the company's new incentive stock option plan (the '2020 Stock Option Plan') was approved, which authorized the directors to fix the option exercise price and to issue stock options under the plan as they see fit. The 2020 Stock Option Plan is a 10% rolling stock option plan under which the directors are authorized to grant up to a maximum of 10% of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares on the date of grant for future issuance. Through May 31, 2021, 243,000 restricted stock units and 868,000 stock options had been granted under the 2020 Stock Option Plan; and
⬤1,618 shares issuable to LifeSci Advisors LLC pursuant to a Master Service Agreement, dated January 15, 2021.
We do not plan on declaring any cash dividends on our ordinary shares in the foreseeable future. We expect to retain all available cash funds and future earnings, if any, to fund the development and growth of our business. Any future determination to pay dividends, if any, on our ordinary shares will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on, among other factors, our results of operations, financial condition, capital requirements and contractual restrictions.
British Virgin Islands Tax Consequences
Under the law of the British Virgin Islands, as currently in effect, a holder of ordinary shares of the Company who is not a resident of the British Virgin Islands is not liable for British Virgin Islands income tax on dividends paid with respect to the ordinary shares of the Company, and all holders of securities of the Company are not liable to the British Virgin Islands for income tax on gains realized on the sale or disposal of securities. The British Virgin Islands does not impose a withholding tax on dividends paid by a company incorporated under the Companies Law.
There are no capital gains, gift or inheritance taxes levied by the British Virgin Islands on companies incorporated under the Companies Law. In addition, securities of companies incorporated under the Companies Law are not subject to transfer taxes, stamp duties or similar charges.
There is no income tax treaty or convention currently in effect between (i) the United States and the British Virgin Islands or (ii) Canada and the British Virgin Islands, although a Tax Information Exchange Agreement is in force between the United States and the BVI and Canada and the BVI.
The BVI Economic Substance (Companies and Limited Partnership) Act 2018
The above legislation provides that BVI companies that carry out certain defined activities, need to take steps to establish substance in the British Virgin Islands. We have taken advice and we have filed our economic substance declaration in the BVI with respect to our First Financial Period (as such term is defined under that legislation).
U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences
The discussion below is for general information only and is not, and should not be interpreted to be, tax advice to any holder of our ordinary shares. Each holder or a prospective holder of our ordinary shares is urged to consult his, her or its own tax advisor.
This section is a general summary of the material United States federal income tax consequences to U.S. Holders, as defined below, of the ownership and disposition of our ordinary shares as of the date of this report. This summary is based on the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, the applicable Treasury regulations promulgated and proposed thereunder, judicial decisions and current administrative rulings and practice, all of which are subject to change, possibly on a retroactive basis. The summary applies to you only if you hold our ordinary shares as a capital asset within the meaning of Section 1221 of the Code. In addition, this summary generally addresses certain U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. Holders related to classification as a PFIC. The United States Internal Revenue Service, or the IRS, may challenge the tax consequences described below, and we have not requested, nor will we request, a ruling from the IRS or an opinion of counsel with respect to the United States federal income tax consequences of acquiring, holding or disposing of our ordinary shares. This summary does not purport to be a comprehensive description of all the tax considerations that may be relevant to the ownership of our ordinary shares. In particular, the discussion below does not cover tax consequences that depend upon your particular tax circumstances nor does it cover any state, local or foreign law, or the possible application of the United States federal estate or gift tax. You are urged to consult your own tax advisors regarding the application of the United States federal income tax laws to your particular situation as well as any state, local, foreign and United States federal estate and gift tax consequences of the ownership and disposition of the ordinary shares. In addition, this summary does not take into account any special United States federal income tax rules that apply to a particular U.S. or non-U.S. holder of our common shares, including, without limitation, the following:
•a dealer in securities or currencies;
•a trader in securities that elects to use a mark-to-market method of accounting for its securities holdings;
•a financial institution or a bank;
•an insurance company;
•a tax-exempt organization;
•a person that holds our common shares in a hedging transaction or as part of a straddle or a conversion transaction;
•a person whose functional currency for United States federal income tax purposes is not the U.S. dollar;
•a person liable for alternative minimum tax;
•a person that owns, or is treated as owning, 10% or more, by voting power or value, of our ordinary shares;
•certain former U.S. citizens and residents who have expatriated; or
•a person who receives our shares pursuant to the exercise of employee stock options or otherwise as compensation.
For purposes of the discussion below, you are a 'U.S. Holder' if you are a beneficial owner of our ordinary shares who or which is:
•an individual United States citizen or resident alien of the United States (as specifically defined for United States federal income tax purposes);
•a corporation, or other entity treated as a corporation for United States federal income tax purposes, created or organized in or under the laws of the United States, any State or the District of Columbia;
•an estate whose income is subject to United States federal income tax regardless of its source; or
•a trust (x) if a United States court can exercise primary supervision over the trust's administration and one or more United States persons are authorized to control all substantial decisions of the trust or (y) if it was in existence on August 20, 1996, was treated as a United States person prior to that date and has a valid election in effect under applicable Treasury regulations to be treated as a United States person.
If a partnership holds our ordinary shares, the tax treatment of a partner will generally depend upon the status of the partner and upon the activities of the partnership. If you are a partner of a partnership holding our ordinary shares, you should consult your tax advisor.
Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC)
Under the Code, we will be a PFIC for any taxable year in which, after the application of certain 'look-through' rules with respect to related companies, either (i) 75% or more of our gross income consists of 'passive income,' or (ii) 50% or more of the average quarterly value of our assets consist of assets that produce, or are held for the production of, 'passive income.' Passive income generally includes interest, dividends, rents, rents and royalties other than certain rents and royalties which are received from unrelated parties in connection with the active conduct of a trade or business, and capital gains. Whether we will be a PFIC in any year depends on the composition of our income and assets, and the relative fair market value of our assets from time to time, which we expect may vary substantially over time. We must make a separate determination each year as to whether we are a PFIC. As a result, our PFIC status may change from year to year based on our income and assets and our anticipated future operations. We were a PFIC in the fiscal year ended in 2018 and may have been a PFIC in prior years and may be a PFIC in the future. We do not believe, at this time, that we will be a PFIC for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 or 2021, due to the fact that we made the acquisition of several immune-oncology related businesses in 2018.
If we are a PFIC for any fiscal year during which a U.S. Holder holds our ordinary shares, we generally will continue to be treated as a PFIC with respect to that U.S. Holder for all succeeding fiscal years during which the U.S. Holder holds our ordinary shares, unless we cease to meet the threshold requirements for PFIC status and that U.S. Holder makes a qualifying 'deemed sale' election with respect to the ordinary shares. If such an election is made, the U.S. Holder will be deemed to have sold the ordinary shares it holds at their fair market value on the last day of the last fiscal year in which we qualified as a PFIC, and any gain from such deemed sale will be subject to the consequences described below. After the deemed sale election, the ordinary shares with respect to which the deemed sale election was made will not be treated as shares in a PFIC unless we subsequently become a PFIC.
If we are a PFIC for any taxable year during which a U.S. Holder holds our ordinary shares, the U.S. Holder may be subject to adverse tax consequences. Generally, gain recognized upon a disposition (including, under certain circumstances, a pledge) of our ordinary shares by the U.S. Holder would be allocated ratably over the U.S. Holder's holding period for such ordinary shares. The amounts allocated to the taxable year of disposition and to years before we became a PFIC would be taxed as ordinary income. The amount allocated to each other taxable year would be subject to tax at the highest rate in effect for that taxable year for individuals or corporations, as appropriate, and would be increased by an additional tax equal to interest on the resulting tax deemed deferred with respect to each such other taxable year. Further, to the extent that any distribution received by a U.S. Holder on our ordinary shares exceeds 125% of the average of the annual distributions on such ordinary shares received during the preceding three years or the U.S. Holder's holding period, whichever is shorter, that distribution would be subject to taxation in the same manner described immediately above with respect to gain on disposition.
If we are a PFIC for any fiscal year during which any of our non-U.S. subsidiaries is also a PFIC, a U.S. Holder of our ordinary shares during such year will be treated as owning a proportionate amount (by value) of the shares of the lower-tier PFIC for purposes of the application of these rules to such subsidiary. U.S. Holders should consult their tax advisers regarding the tax consequences if the PFIC rules apply to any of our subsidiaries. Alternatively, if we are a PFIC and if our ordinary shares are 'regularly traded' on a 'qualified exchange,' a U.S. Holder may be eligible to make a mark-to-market election that would result in tax treatment different from the general tax treatment described above. Our ordinary shares would be treated as 'regularly traded' in any calendar year in which more than a de minimis quantity of the ordinary shares are traded on a qualified exchange on at least 15 days during each calendar quarter. NASDAQ is a qualified exchange for this purpose. Additionally, because a mark-to-market election cannot be made for equity interests in any lower-tier PFIC that we may own, a U.S. Holder that makes a mark-to-market election with respect to us may continue to be subject to the PFIC rules with respect to any indirect investments held by us that are treated as an equity interest in a PFIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes. If a U.S. Holder makes the mark-to-market election, the U.S. Holder generally will recognize as ordinary income any excess of the fair market value of the ordinary shares at the end of each taxable year over their adjusted tax basis, and will recognize an ordinary loss in respect of any excess of the adjusted tax basis of the ordinary shares over their fair market value at the end of the taxable year (but only to the extent of the net amount of income previously included as a result of the mark-to-market election). If a U.S. Holder makes the election, the U.S. Holder's tax basis in the ordinary shares will be adjusted to reflect these income or loss amounts. Any gain recognized on the sale or other disposition of our ordinary shares in a year when we are a PFIC will be treated as ordinary income and any loss will be treated as an ordinary loss (but only to the extent of the net amount of income previously included as a result of the mark-to-market election). If a U.S. Holder makes a mark-to-market election it will be effective for the taxable year for which the election is made and all subsequent taxable years unless our ordinary shares are no longer regularly traded on a qualified exchange or the IRS consents to the revocation of the election. U.S. Holders are urged to consult their tax advisers about the availability of the mark-to-market election, and whether making the election would be advisable in their particular circumstances.
Alternatively, a U.S. Holder of stock in a PFIC may make a so-called 'Qualified Electing Fund' election to avoid the PFIC rules regarding distributions and gain described above. The PFIC taxation regime would not apply to a U.S. Holder who makes a QEF election for all taxable years that such U.S. Holder has held our ordinary shares while we are a PFIC, provided that we comply with specified reporting requirements. Instead, each U.S. Holder who has made a valid and effective QEF election is required for each taxable year that we are a PFIC to include in income such U.S. Holder's pro rata share of our ordinary earnings as ordinary income and such U.S. Holder's pro rata share of our net capital gains as long-term capital gain, regardless of whether we make any distributions of such earnings or gain. In general, a QEF election is effective only if we make available certain required information. U.S. Holders should be aware, however, that we are not required to make this information available but have agreed to do so for our fiscal year ended March 31, 202- for those United States shareholders who ask for it. The QEF election is made on a shareholder-by-shareholder basis and generally may be revoked only with the consent of the IRS. U.S. Holders should consult with their own tax advisors regarding eligibility, manner and advisability of making a QEF election if we are treated as a PFIC.
In addition, if we are a PFIC or, with respect to particular U.S. Holders, are treated as a PFIC for the taxable year in which we paid a dividend or for the prior taxable year, the preferential rates discussed above with respect to dividends paid to certain non-corporate U.S. Holders would not apply.
If a U.S. Holder owns our ordinary shares during any year in which we are a PFIC, the U.S. Holder generally will be required to file an IRS Form 8621 (Information Return by a Shareholder of a Passive Foreign Investment Company or Qualified Electing Fund) with respect to us, generally with the U.S. Holder's federal income tax return for that year. If we are a PFIC for a given taxable year, then you should consult your tax advisor concerning your annual filing requirements
The U.S. federal income tax rules relating to PFICs are complex. U.S. Holders are urged to consult their own tax advisers with respect to the acquisition, ownership and disposition of our ordinary shares, the consequences to them if we are or become a PFIC, any elections available with respect to our ordinary shares, and the IRS information reporting obligations with respect to the acquisition, ownership and disposition of our ordinary shares.
If you are not a U.S. Holder, you are a 'Non-U.S. Holder.'
Distributions on Our Ordinary Shares
You generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax, including withholding tax, on distributions made on our ordinary shares unless:
•you conduct a trade or business in the United States, and
•the distributions are effectively connected with the conduct of that trade or business (and, if an applicable income tax treaty so requires as a condition for you to be subject to U.S. federal income tax on a net income basis in respect of income from our ordinary shares, such distributions are attributable to a permanent establishment that you maintain in the United States).
If you meet the two tests above, you generally will be subject to tax in respect of such dividends in the same manner as a U.S. Holder, as described above. In addition, any effectively connected dividends received by a non-U.S. corporation may also, under certain circumstances, be subject to an additional 'branch profits tax' at a 30 percent rate or such lower rate as may be specified by an applicable income tax treaty.
Sale, Exchange or Other Disposition of Our Ordinary Shares
Generally, you will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax, including withholding tax, in respect of gain recognized on a sale or other taxable disposition of our ordinary shares unless:
•your gain is effectively connected with a trade or business that you conduct in the United States (and, if an applicable income tax treaty so requires as a condition for you to be subject to U.S. federal income tax on a net income basis in respect of gain from the sale or other disposition of our ordinary shares, such gain is attributable to a permanent establishment maintained by you in the United States), or
•you are an individual Non-U.S. Holder and are present in the United States for at least 183 days in the taxable year of the sale or other disposition, and certain other conditions exist.
You will be subject to tax in respect of any gain effectively connected with your conduct of a trade or business in the United States generally in the same manner as a U.S. Holder, as described above. Effectively connected gains realized by a non-U.S. corporation may also, under certain circumstances, be subject to an additional 'branch profits tax' at a rate of 30 percent or such lower rate as may be specified by an applicable income tax treaty.
Backup Withholding and Information Reporting
Payments, including dividends and proceeds of sales, in respect of our ordinary shares that are made in the United States or by a United States related financial intermediary will be subject to United States information reporting rules. In addition, such payments may be subject to United States federal backup withholding tax. You will not be subject to backup withholding provided that:
•you are a corporation or other exempt recipient, or
•you provide your correct United States federal taxpayer identification number and certify, under penalties of perjury, that you are not subject to backup withholding.
Amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules may be credited against your United States federal income tax, and you may obtain a refund of any excess amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules by filing the appropriate claim for refund with the IRS in a timely manner.
Foreign asset reporting
Certain U.S. Holders, who are individuals, are required to report information relating to an interest in ordinary shares, subject to certain exceptions (including an exception for ordinary shares held in accounts maintained by U.S. financial institutions). U.S. Holders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding their information reporting obligations, if any, with respect to their ownership and disposition of ordinary shares
Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the underwriting agreement, dated , 2021, between us and Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. as representative of the underwriters named below, or the Representative, we have agreed to sell to the underwriters and each of the underwriters has agreed, severally and not jointly, to purchase from us, the ordinary shares shown opposite its name below:
|Number of Shares|
|Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.|
|Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.|
The underwriting agreement provides that the obligations of the underwriters are subject to certain conditions precedent such as the receipt by the underwriters of officers' certificates and legal opinions and approval of certain legal matters by their counsel. The underwriting agreement provides that the underwriters will purchase all of the ordinary shares if any are purchased. We have agreed to indemnify the underwriters and certain of its controlling persons against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act, and to contribute to payments that the underwriters may be required to make in respect of those liabilities.
The underwriters are offering the ordinary shares subject to its acceptance of the ordinary shares from us and subject to prior sale. The underwriters reserve the right to withdraw, cancel or modify offers to the public and to reject orders in whole or in part.
Option to Purchase Additional Shares
We have granted to the underwriters an option, exercisable 30 days from the date of this prospectus supplement, to purchase, from time to time, in whole or in part, up to an aggregate of shares from us at the public offering price set forth on the cover page of this prospectus supplement, less underwriting discounts and commissions. If the underwriters exercise this option, each underwriter will be obligated, subject to certain conditions, to purchase a number of additional shares approximately proportionate to that underwriter's initial purchase commitment as indicated in the table above.
Commission and Expenses
The underwriters have advised us that it propose to offer the ordinary shares to the public at the public offering price set forth on the cover page of this prospectus supplement and to certain dealers at that price less a concession not in excess of $ per share. After the initial offering, the Representative may change the offering price and other selling terms.
The following table shows the public offering price, the underwriting discounts and commissions that we are to pay the underwriters and the proceeds, before expenses, to us in connection with this offering. Such amounts are shown assuming both no exercise and full exercise of the underwriter's option to purchase additional shares.
|Option to Purchase||Option to Purchase||Option to Purchase||Option to Purchase|
|Additional Shares||Additional Shares||Additional Shares||Additional Shares|
|Public offering price||$||$||$||$|
|Underwriting discounts and commissions||$||$||$||$|
|Proceeds to us, before expenses||$||$||$||$|
We estimate expenses payable by us in connection with this offering, other than the underwriting discounts and commissions referred to above, will be approximately $.
Our ordinary shares are listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the trading symbol 'PRTG.'
No Sales of Similar Securities
We, our officers and our directors and significant shareholders have agreed, other than James Mellon, subject to certain specified exceptions, not to directly or indirectly, for a period of 90 days after the date of the underwriting agreement:
⬤sell, offer, contract or grant any option to sell (including any short sale), pledge, transfer, establish an open 'put equivalent position' within the meaning of Rule 16a-l(h) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or otherwise dispose of, any of their ordinary shares, options or warrants to acquire ordinary shares, or securities exchangeable or exercisable for or convertible into ordinary shares currently or hereafter owned either of record or beneficially,
⬤enter into any swap, hedge or other agreement or transaction that transfers, in whole or in part, the economic consequence of ownership of the ordinary shares, or securities exchangeable or exercisable for or convertible into ordinary shares, or
⬤publicly announce an intention to do any of the foregoing for a period of 90 days after the date of this prospectus supplement without the prior written consent of the Representative.
In addition, we and each such person agrees that, without the prior written consent of the Representative, we or such other person will not, during the restricted period, make any demand for, or exercise any right with respect to, the registration of any of their ordinary shares or any security convertible into or exercisable or exchangeable for ordinary shares.
Market Making, Stabilization and Other Transactions
The underwriters may make a market in the ordinary shares as permitted by applicable laws and regulations. However, the underwriters are not obligated to do so, and the underwriters may discontinue any market-making activities at any time without notice in its sole discretion. Accordingly, no assurance can be given as to the liquidity of the trading market for the ordinary shares, that you will be able to sell any of the ordinary shares held by you at a particular time or that the prices that you receive when you sell will be favorable.
The underwriters have advised us that, pursuant to Regulation M under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, certain persons participating in the offering may engage in short sale transactions, stabilizing transactions, syndicate covering transactions or the imposition of penalty bids in connection with this offering. These activities may have the effect of stabilizing or maintaining the market price of the ordinary shares at a level above that which might otherwise prevail in the open market. Establishing short sales positions may involve either 'covered' short sales or 'naked' short sales.
'Covered' short sales are sales made in an amount not greater than the underwriter's option to purchase additional shares in this offering. The underwriters may close out any covered short position by either exercising its option to purchase additional shares or purchasing shares in the open market. In determining the source of shares to close out the covered short position, the underwriters will consider, among other things, the price of shares available for purchase in the open market as compared to the price at which it may purchase shares through the option to purchase additional shares.
'Naked' short sales are sales in excess of the option to purchase additional ordinary shares. The underwriters must close out any naked short position by purchasing shares in the open market. A naked short position is more likely to be created if the underwriters are concerned that there may be downward pressure on the price of the shares in the open market after pricing that could adversely affect investors who purchase in this offering.
A stabilizing bid is a bid for the purchase of ordinary shares on behalf of the underwriters for the purpose of fixing or maintaining the price of the ordinary shares. A syndicate covering transaction is the bid for or the purchase of ordinary shares on behalf of the underwriters to reduce a short position incurred by the underwriters in connection with the offering. Similar to other purchase transactions, the underwriter's purchases to cover the syndicate short sales may have the effect of raising or maintaining the market price of our ordinary shares or preventing or retarding a decline in the market price of our ordinary shares. As a result, the price of our ordinary shares may be higher than the price that might otherwise exist in the open market. A penalty bid is an arrangement permitting the underwriters to reclaim the selling concession otherwise accruing to a syndicate member in connection with the offering if the ordinary shares originally sold by such syndicate member are purchased in a syndicate covering transaction and therefore have not been effectively placed by such syndicate member.
Neither we, nor any of the underwriters make any representation or prediction as to the direction or magnitude of any effect that the transactions described above may have on the price of our ordinary shares. The underwriters are not obligated to engage in these activities and, if commenced, may end any of these activities at any time.
Passive Market Making
The underwriters may also engage in passive market making transactions in our ordinary shares on the NASDAQ in accordance with Rule 103 of Regulation M during a period before the commencement of offers or sales of shares of our ordinary shares in this offering and extending through the completion of distribution. A passive market maker must display its bid at a price not in excess of the highest independent bid of that security. However, if all independent bids are lowered below the passive market maker's bid, that bid must then be lowered when specified purchase limits are exceeded. Passive market making may cause the price of our ordinary shares to be higher than the price that otherwise would exist in the open market in the absence of those transactions. The underwriters are not required to engage in passive market making and, if commenced, may end passive market making activities at any time.
A prospectus in electronic format may be made available by e-mail or on the web sites or through online services maintained by one or more of the underwriter, selling group members (if any) or their affiliates. The underwriters may agree with us to allocate a specific number of ordinary shares for sale to online brokerage account holders. Any such allocation for online distributions will be made by the underwriters on the same basis as other allocations. Other than the prospectus in electronic format, the information on the underwriter's web site and any information contained in any other web site maintained by the underwriters not part of this prospectus supplement, has not been approved and/or endorsed by us or the underwriters and should not be relied upon by investors.
Other Activities and Relationships
The underwriters and certain of their affiliates are full service financial institutions engaged in a wide range of activities for their own accounts and the accounts of customers, which may include, among other things, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, merchant banking, equity and fixed income sales, trading and research, derivatives, foreign exchange, futures, asset management, custody, clearance and securities lending. The underwriters and certain of their affiliates have, from time to time, performed, and may in the future perform, various investment banking and financial advisory services for us and our affiliates, for which they received or will receive customary fees and expenses. For example, Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. is the sales agent under a Controlled Equity OfferingSM sales agreement dated February 24, 2021, by and between us and Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., pursuant to which we may offer and sell, from time to time, shares of our common stock through Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. through an 'at the market offering' as defined in Rule 415(a)(4) promulgated under the Securities Act, and for which Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. is entitled to receive customary commissions.
In addition, in the ordinary course of its business, the underwriters and their affiliates may, directly or indirectly, hold long or short positions, trade and otherwise conduct such activities in or with respect to debt or equity securities and/or bank debt of, and/or derivative products. Such investment and securities activities may involve our securities and instruments. The underwriters and their affiliates may also make investment recommendations or publish or express independent research views in respect of such securities or instruments and may at any time hold, or recommend to clients that they acquire, long or short positions in such securities and instruments.
If you purchase ordinary shares offered in this prospectus supplement, you may be required to pay stamp taxes and other charges under the laws and practices of the country of purchase, in addition to the offering price listed on the cover page of this prospectus supplement.
NOTICE TO INVESTORS
The ordinary shares have not been and will not be qualified for sale in Canada or any province or territory of Canada pursuant to a prospectus and may not be offered or sold directly or indirectly in any province or territory of Canada, except pursuant to an exemption from the applicable prospectus filing requirements, and in compliance with the applicable securities rules of such province or territory
This prospectus is not a disclosure document for the purposes of Australia's Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) of Australia, or Corporations Act, has not been lodged with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission and is only directed to the categories of exempt persons set out below. Accordingly, if you receive this prospectus in Australia:
You confirm and warrant that you are either:
⬤a 'sophisticated investor' under section 708(8)(a) or (b) of the Corporations Act;
⬤a 'sophisticated investor' under section 708(8)(c) or (d) of the Corporations Act and that you have provided an accountant's certificate to the company which complies with the requirements of section 708(8)(c)(i) or (ii) of the Corporations Act and related regulations before the offer has been made; or
⬤a 'professional investor' within the meaning of section 708(11)(a) or (b) of the Corporations Act.
To the extent that you are unable to confirm or warrant that you are an exempt sophisticated investor or professional investor under the Corporations Act any offer made to you under this prospectus is void and incapable of acceptance.
You warrant and agree that you will not offer any of the shares issued to you pursuant to this prospectus for resale in Australia within 12 months of those securities being issued unless any such resale offer is exempt from the requirement to issue a disclosure document under section 708 of the Corporations Act.
European Economic Area
In relation to each Member State of the European Economic Area , no offer of any securities which are the subject of the offering contemplated by this prospectus has been or will be made to the public in that Member State other than any offer where a prospectus has been or will be published in relation to such securities that has been approved by the competent authority in that Member State or, where appropriate, approved in another Member State and notified to the relevant competent authority in that Member State in accordance with the Prospectus Directive, except that an offer of such securities may be made to the public in that Member State:
⬤to any legal entity which is a 'qualified investor' as defined in the Prospectus Directive;
⬤to fewer than 150, natural or legal persons (other than qualified investors as defined in the Prospectus Directive), as permitted under the Prospectus Directive, subject to obtaining the prior consent of the representatives of the underwriters for any such offer; or
⬤in any other circumstances falling within Article 3(2) of the Prospectus Directive,
provided that no such offer of securities shall require the Company or any of the underwriters to publish a prospectus pursuant to Article 3 of the Prospectus Directive or supplement a prospectus pursuant to Article 16 of the Prospectus Directive.
For the purposes of this provision, the expression an 'offer to the public' in relation to any securities in any Member State means the communication in any form and by any means of sufficient information on the terms of the offer and the securities to be offered so as to enable an investor to decide to purchase or subscribe the securities, as the same may be varied in that Member State by any measure implementing the Prospectus Directive in that Member State and the expression 'Prospectus Directive' means Directive 2003/71/EC (and amendments thereto, including the 2010 PD Amending Directive), and includes any relevant implementing measure in the Member State and the expression '2010 PD Amending Directive' means Directive 2010/73/EU.
No securities have been offered or sold, and no securities may be offered or sold, in Hong Kong, by means of any document, other than to persons whose ordinary business is to buy or sell shares or debentures, whether as principal or agent; or to 'professional investors' as defined in the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 571) of Hong Kong and any rules made under that Ordinance; or in other circumstances which do not result in the document being a 'prospectus' as defined in the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 32) of Hong Kong or which do not constitute an offer to the public within the meaning of the Companies Ordinance (Cap.32) of Hong Kong. No document, invitation or advertisement relating to the securities has been issued or may be issued or may be in the possession of any person for the purpose of issue (in each case whether in Hong Kong or elsewhere), which is directed at, or the contents of which are likely to be accessed or read by, the public of Hong Kong (except if permitted under the securities laws of Hong Kong) other than with respect to securities which are or are intended to be disposed of only to persons outside Hong Kong or only to 'professional investors' as defined in the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 571) of Hong Kong and any rules made under that Ordinance.
This prospectus has not been registered with the Registrar of Companies in Hong Kong. Accordingly, this prospectus may not be issued, circulated or distributed in Hong Kong, and the securities may not be offered for subscription to members of the public in Hong Kong. Each person acquiring the securities will be required, and is deemed by the acquisition of the securities, to confirm that he is aware of the restriction on offers of the securities described in this prospectus and the relevant offering documents and that he is not acquiring, and has not been offered any securities in circumstances that contravene any such restrictions.
The offering has not been and will not be registered under the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law of Japan (Law No. 25 of 1948 of Japan, as amended), or FIEL, and the Initial Purchaser will not offer or sell any securities, directly or indirectly, in Japan or to, or for the benefit of, any resident of Japan (which term as used herein means, unless otherwise provided herein, any person resident in Japan, including any corporation or other entity organized under the laws of Japan), or to others for re-offering or resale, directly or indirectly, in Japan or to a resident of Japan, except pursuant to an exemption from the registration requirements of, and otherwise in compliance with, the FIEL and any other applicable laws, regulations and ministerial guidelines of Japan.
This prospectus has not been and will not be lodged or registered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Accordingly, this prospectus and any other document or material in connection with the offer or sale, or the invitation for subscription or purchase of the securities may not be issued, circulated or distributed, nor may the securities be offered or sold, or be made the subject of an invitation for subscription or purchase, whether directly or indirectly, to the public or any member of the public in Singapore other than (i) to an institutional investor under Section 274 of the Securities and Futures Act, Chapter 289 of Singapore, or the SFA, (ii) to a relevant person as defined under Section 275(2), or any person pursuant to Section 275(1A) of the SFA, and in accordance with the conditions, specified in Section 275 of the SFA, or (iii) otherwise pursuant to, and in accordance with the conditions of any other applicable provision of the SFA.
Where the securities are subscribed or purchased under Section 275 of the SFA by a relevant person which is:
⬤a corporation (which is not an accredited investor as defined under Section 4A of the SFA) the sole business of which is to hold investments and the entire share capital of which is owned by one or more individuals, each of whom is an accredited investor; or
⬤a trust (where the trustee is not an accredited investor) whose sole purpose is to hold investments and each beneficiary is an accredited investor,
shares, debentures and units of shares and debentures of that corporation or the beneficiaries' rights and interest in that trust shall not be transferable for six months after that corporation or that trust has acquired the Offer Shares under Section 275 of the SFA except:
⬤to an institutional investor under Section 274 of the SFA or to a relevant person defined in Section 275(2) of the SFA, or to any person
pursuant to an offer that is made on terms that such shares, debentures and units of shares and debentures of that corporation or such rights and interest in that trust are acquired at a consideration of not less than $200,000 (or its equivalent in a foreign currency) for each transaction, whether such amount is to be paid for in cash or by exchange of securities or other assets, and further for corporations, in accordance with the conditions, specified in Section 275 of the SFA;
⬤where no consideration is given for the transfer; or
⬤where the transfer is by operation of law.
The securities may not be publicly offered in Switzerland and will not be listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange, or SIX, or on any other stock exchange or regulated trading facility in Switzerland. This prospectus has been prepared without regard to the disclosure standards for issuance prospectuses under art. 652a or art. 1156 of the Swiss Code of Obligations or the disclosure standards for listing prospectuses under art. 27 ff. of the SIX Listing Rules or the listing rules of any other stock exchange or regulated trading facility in Switzerland. Neither this prospectus nor any other offering or marketing material relating to the securities or the offering may be publicly distributed or otherwise made publicly available in Switzerland.
Neither this prospectus nor any other offering or marketing material relating to the offering, the Company or the securities have been or will be filed with or approved by any Swiss regulatory authority. In particular, this prospectus will not be filed with, and the offer of securities will not be supervised by, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA, or FINMA, and the offer of securities has not been and will not be authorized under the Swiss Federal Act on Collective Investment Schemes, or CISA. The investor protection afforded to acquirers of interests in collective investment schemes under the CISA does not extend to acquirers of securities.
This document does not constitute a prospectus under the Israeli Securities Law, 5728-1968, or the Securities Law, and has not been filed with or approved by the Israel Securities Authority. In the State of Israel, this document is being distributed only to, and is directed only at, and any offer of the shares is directed only at, investors listed in the first addendum, or the Addendum, to the Israeli Securities Law, consisting primarily of joint investment in trust funds, provident funds, insurance companies, banks, portfolio managers, investment advisors, members of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, underwriters, venture capital funds, entities with equity in excess of NIS 50 million and 'qualified individuals', each as defined in the Addendum (as it may be amended from time to time), collectively referred to as qualified investors (in each case purchasing for their own account or, where permitted under the Addendum, for the accounts of their clients who are investors listed in the Addendum). Qualified investors will be required to submit written confirmation that they fall within the scope of the Addendum, are aware of the meaning of same and agree to it.
This prospectus is only being distributed to, and is only directed at, persons in the United Kingdom that are qualified investors (as defined in the Prospectus Directive) that are also (i) investment professionals falling within Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended, referred to herein as the 'Order', and/or (ii) high net worth entities falling within Article 49(2)(a) to (d) of the Order and other persons to whom it may lawfully be communicated or caused to be communicated. Each such person is referred to herein as a 'Relevant Person'.
This prospectus and its contents are confidential and should not be distributed, published or reproduced (in whole or in part) or disclosed by recipients to any other persons in the United Kingdom. Any person in the United Kingdom that is not a Relevant Person should not act or rely on this document or any of its contents.
Any invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity (within the meaning of Section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (the 'FSMA') may only be communicated or caused to be communicated in connection with the issue or sale of the securities in circumstances in which Section 21(1) of the FSMA does not apply. All applicable provisions of the FSMA must be complied with in respect of anything done by any person in relation to the securities in, from or otherwise involving the United Kingdom.
The validity of the ordinary shares offered hereby will be passed upon for us by Forbes Hare, our British Virgin Islands counsel. Certain legal matters relating to this offering will be passed upon for us by Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell & Peskoe LLP, New York, New York. Certain legal matters in connection with this offering will be passed upon for the underwriters by Duane Morris LLP, New York, New York.
The consolidated financial statements of Portage Biotech Inc. and Subsidiaries as of March 30, 2020 and 2019, and for the years then ended, incorporated by reference in this prospectus and elsewhere in the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, have been audited by Marcum, an independent registered public accounting firm, in reliance upon such report given on the authority of such firm as experts in accounting and auditing.
WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION
This prospectus is part of a registration statement we filed with the SEC. This prospectus does not contain all of the information set forth in the registration statement and the exhibits to the registration statement. For further information with respect to us and the securities we are offering under this prospectus, we refer you to the registration statement and the exhibits and schedules filed as a part of the registration statement. Neither we nor any underwriter, agent or dealer has authorized any person to provide you with different information. We are not making an offer of these securities in any state where the offer is not permitted. You should not assume that the information in this prospectus is accurate as of any date other than the date on the front page of this prospectus, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or any sale of the securities offered by this prospectus.
We file annual and current reports and other information with the SEC. Our SEC filings are available to the public at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. Additional information about us is contained at our website, https://www.portagebiotech.com. Information on our website is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus. We make available through our website our SEC filings as soon as reasonably practicable after those reports are filed with the SEC.
INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION BY REFERENCE
The SEC allows us to 'incorporate by reference' the information that we have filed with it, meaning we can disclose important information to you by referring you to those documents already on file with the SEC. The information incorporated by reference is considered to be part of this prospectus and the accompanying base prospectus except for any information that is superseded by other information that is included in this prospectus or the accompanying base prospectus. This filing incorporates by reference the following documents, which we have previously filed with the SEC pursuant to the Exchange Act:
We also incorporate by reference into this prospectus all documents that are filed by us with the SEC pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act on or after the date of this prospectus but prior to the termination of this offering. These documents include periodic reports, such as Annual Reports on Form 20-F and Current Reports on Form 6-K. As a foreign private issuer, we are exempt from the rules under Section 14 of the Exchange Act prescribing the furnishing and content of proxy statements, and our officers, directors and principal shareholders are exempt from the reporting and other provisions in Section 16 of the Exchange Act.
We will provide, without charge, to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom this prospectus and the accompanying base prospectus are delivered, on the written or oral request of such person, a copy of any or all of the reports or documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus and the accompanying base prospectus, but not delivered with this prospectus and the accompanying base prospectus. Any request may be made by writing or telephoning us at the following address or telephone number:
Portage Biotech Inc.
Attention: Investor Relations
6 Adelaide St. East, Suite 300
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5C 1H6
Any statement contained in this prospectus or contained in a document incorporated or deemed to be incorporated by reference into this prospectus will be deemed to be modified or superseded to the extent that a statement contained in this prospectus or any subsequently filed supplement to this prospectus, or document deemed to be incorporated by reference into this prospectus, modifies or supersedes such statement.
Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2)
Registration Statement No. 333-253468
PORTAGE BIOTECH INC.
This prospectus relates to ordinary shares, debt securities, warrants and units that we may sell from time to time in one or more offerings up to a total public offering price of $200,000,000 on terms to be determined at the time of sale. We will provide specific terms of these securities in supplements to this prospectus. You should read this prospectus and any supplement carefully before you invest. This prospectus may not be used to offer and sell securities unless accompanied by a prospectus supplement for those securities.
Our ordinary shares are listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbols 'PBT.U.' Our ordinary shares also are traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol 'PRTG.' On March 5, 2021, the closing price of an ordinary share on the Canadian Securities Exchange was $31.70 per share and on NASDAQ was $32.00.
These securities may be sold directly by us, through dealers or agents designated from time to time, to or through underwriters or through a combination of these methods. See 'Plan of Distribution' in this prospectus. We may also describe the plan of distribution for any particular offering of these securities in any applicable prospectus supplement. If any underwriters, dealers or agents are involved in the sale of any securities in respect of which this prospectus is being delivered, we will disclose their names and the nature of our arrangements with them in a prospectus supplement. The net proceeds we expect to receive from any such sale will also be included in a prospectus supplement.
Investing in our securities involves certain risks. See the section 'Risk Factors' of this prospectus and in any prospectus supplement before you make your investment decision.
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
The date of this prospectus is March 8, 2021.
Table of Contents
|ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS||3|
|WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION; INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE||3|
|USE OF PROCEEDS||12|
|DESCRIPTION OF ORDINARY SHARES WE MAY OFFER||12|
|DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS WE MAY OFFER||19|
|DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES WE MAY OFFER||20|
|DESCRIPTION OF UNITS WE MAY OFFER||22|
|PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION||22|
|CERTAIN UNITED STATES FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS||24|
|ENFORCEABILITY OF CIVIL LIABILITIES||25|
We have not authorized any broker-dealer, salesperson or other person to give any information or to make any representation other than those contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus and the accompanying supplement to this prospectus. You must not rely upon any information or representation not contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or the accompanying prospectus supplement. This prospectus and the accompanying supplement to this prospectus do not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities, nor do this prospectus and the accompanying supplement to this prospectus constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities in any jurisdiction to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation. The information contained in this prospectus and the accompanying prospectus supplement speaks only as of their respective dates and may not reflect subsequent changes in our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects even though this prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement is delivered or securities are sold on a later date.
ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS
You should read this prospectus and any prospectus supplement together with the additional information described under the heading 'Where You Can Find More Information.'
In this prospectus, unless otherwise indicated or unless the context otherwise requires:
'we,' 'us,' 'our company,' 'the company,' 'our' or 'Portage' refers to Portage Biotech Inc., a British Virgin Islands company, its predecessor entities and its wholly and partially owned subsidiaries;
all references to '$,' 'dollars' or 'U.S. dollars' refer to the legal currency of the United States; all references to '£' and 'pounds sterling' refer to the legal currency of the United Kingdom; all references to '€' or 'euro' refer to the official currency of the European Union and the currency that is used in certain of its member states; and
'shares' or 'ordinary shares' refers to the authorized ordinary shares of Portage Biotech Inc., with no par value.
This prospectus is part of a shelf registration statement that we filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, using a 'shelf' registration process. By using a shelf registration statement, we may sell our ordinary shares, debt securities, warrants to acquire ordinary shares, debt or units, and units comprising a combination of any of the foregoing from time to time, in one or more offerings, on a continuous or delayed basis. This prospectus only provides you with a summary description of these securities. Each time we sell the securities, we will provide a supplement to this prospectus that contains specific information about the securities being offered and the specific terms of that offering. The supplement may also add, update or change information contained in this prospectus. If there is any inconsistency between the information in this prospectus and any prospectus supplement, you should rely on the prospectus supplement. Before purchasing any of the securities, you should carefully read both this prospectus and any supplement, together with the additional information described under the heading 'Where You Can Find More Information.'
WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION; INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE
We file annual and special reports, proxy statements and other information with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the 'SEC'). You can inspect and copy these reports, proxy statements and other information at the SEC's Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D. C. 20549. Please call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 for further information on the Public Reference Room. The SEC also maintains a web site that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers (www.sec.gov). Our web site is located at www.portagebiotech.com. The information contained on our web site is not part of this prospectus.
This prospectus 'incorporates by reference' certain information that we have filed with the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the 'Exchange Act'). This means we are disclosing important information to you by referring you to those documents. We incorporate by reference the documents listed below and any future filings made by us with the SEC under Sections 13(a), 13(c) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act until the offering is terminated:
• our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, filed with the SEC on August 17, 2020;
• our Reports on Form 6-K filed with the SEC on October 13, 2020, October 16, 2020, October 16, 2020, December 1, 2020, February 11, 2021, February 25, 2021, March 1, 2021, March 2, 2021, and March 4, 2021; and
• with respect to each offering of the securities under this prospectus, all our subsequent annual reports on Form 20-F and any report on Form 6-K that indicates that it is being incorporated by reference, in each case, that we file or furnish with the SEC on or after the date on which the registration statement is first filed with the SEC and until the termination or completion of the offering under this prospectus; and
• The description of our ordinary shares contained in the Registration Statement on Form 8-A, filed with the SEC on February 18, 2021, including any further amendment or report filed hereafter for the purpose of updating such description.
As a foreign private issuer, we are exempt from the rules under Section 14 of the Exchange Act prescribing the furnishing and content of proxy statements and our officers, directors and principal shareholders are exempt from the reporting and other provisions in Section 16 of the Exchange Act.
We will provide, upon written or oral request, without charge to you, including any beneficial owner of our ordinary shares to whom this prospectus is delivered, a copy of any or all of the documents incorporated herein by reference other than the exhibits to those documents, unless those exhibits are specifically incorporated by reference into the information that this prospectus incorporates. You should direct a request for copies in writing to us at Attention: Chief Executive Officer, c/o Portage Biotech Inc., 61 Wilton Road. Westport, CT 06880.
Certain information set forth in this prospectus or incorporated by reference in this prospectus may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the 'Securities Act'), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the 'Exchange Act'), that are intended to be covered by the 'safe harbor' created by those sections. Forward-looking statements, which are based on certain assumptions and describe our future plans, strategies and expectations, can generally be identified by the use of forward-looking terms such as 'believe,' 'expect,' 'may,' 'will,' 'should,' 'would,' 'could,' 'seek,' 'intend,' 'plan,' 'estimate,' 'goal,' 'anticipate,' 'project' or other comparable terms. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, as a result of various factors including those risks and uncertainties included in this prospectus under the caption 'Risk Factors,' and those risks and uncertainties described in the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus. We urge you to consider those risks and uncertainties in evaluating our forward-looking statements. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us or to persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the applicable cautionary statements. We further caution readers not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Except as otherwise required by the federal securities laws, we disclaim any obligation or undertaking to publicly release any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein or in the accompanying prospectus (or elsewhere) to reflect any change in our expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
This prospectus is part of a registration statement on Form F-3 that we filed with the SEC utilizing a 'shelf' registration process. Under this shelf process, we may from time to time, sell any combination of securities described in this prospectus in one or more offerings. This prospectus provides you with a general description of the securities we may offer. Each time we sell securities, we will provide a prospectus supplement that will contain specific information about the terms of the securities being offered and risk factors specific to that offering.
We may add or modify in a prospectus supplement any of the information contained in this prospectus or in the documents that we have incorporated into this prospectus by reference. If there is any inconsistency between the information in this prospectus and a prospectus supplement, you should rely on the information in that prospectus supplement. You should read both this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement together with additional information described above under the heading 'Where You Can Find More Information.'
When acquiring any securities discussed in this prospectus, you should rely on the information provided in this prospectus and the prospectus supplement, including the information incorporated by reference. Neither we, nor any underwriters, dealers or agents, have authorized anyone to provide you with different information. We are not offering the securities in any state where such an offer is prohibited. You should not assume that the information in this prospectus, any prospectus supplement, or any document incorporated by reference, is truthful or complete at any date other than the date mentioned on the cover page of those documents. You should also carefully review the section entitled 'Risk Factors,' which highlights certain risks associated with an investment in our securities, to determine whether an investment in our securities is appropriate for you.
Investing in our securities involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider risk factors described in our Annual Report on Form 20-F for our fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 and those contained in our other filings with the SEC, which are incorporated by reference in this prospectus, and any accompanying prospectus supplement and all other information contained in this prospectus and in any supplementary prospectus relating to the offering of any of our securities before purchasing any of our securities. Some statements in this prospectus, constitute forward-looking statements. Please refer to the section entitled 'Forward-Looking Statements.'
The prospectus supplement applicable to each type or series of securities we offer may contain a discussion of risks applicable to the particular types of securities that we are offering under that prospectus supplement. Prior to making a decision about investing in our securities, you should carefully consider the specific factors discussed under the caption 'Risk Factors' in the applicable prospectus supplement, together with all of the other information contained in the prospectus supplement or appearing or incorporated by reference in this prospectus. These risks could materially affect our business, results of operations or financial condition and cause the value of our securities to decline. You could lose all or part of your investment.
Portage is a clinical stage immune-oncology company focused on overcoming immune resistance. It currently manages 10 immuno-oncology assets at various development stages. We source, nurture and develop the creation of early- to mid-stage, first- and best-in-class therapies for a variety of cancers, by funding, implementing viable, cost effective product development strategies, clinical counsel/trial design, shared services, financial and project management to enable efficient, turnkey execution of commercially informed development plans. Our drug development pipeline portfolio encompasses products or technologies based on biology addressing known resistance pathways/mechanisms of current check point inhibitors with established scientific rationales, including intratumoral delivery, nanoparticles, liposomes, aptamers, and virus-like particles.
The Portage Approach
Our mission is to advance and grow a portfolio of innovative, early-stage oncology assets based on the latest scientific breakthroughs focused on overcoming immune resistance. Given these foundations, we manage capital allocation and risk as much as we oversee drug development. By focusing our efforts on translational medicine and pipeline diversification, we seek to mitigate overall exposure to many of the inherent risks of drug development. Our approach is guided by the following core elements:
Portfolio diversification to mitigate risk and maximize optionality;
|•||Capital allocation based on risk-adjusted potential, including staged funding to pre-specified scientific and clinical results;|
|•||Virtual infrastructure and key external relationships to maintain a lean operating base;|
|•||Internal development capabilities complemented by external business development;|
|•||Rigorous asset selection with disciplined ongoing evaluation; and|
|•||Focus on translational medicine and therapeutic candidates with in vivo single agent activity.|
We believe that our corporate structure results in enhanced operational efficiency and maintains an optimal cost structure by centralizing strategic/tactical support, shared services, including all research and development operations, capital allocation/contribution, human resources,administrative services, and business development, as well as other services to each of our immuno-oncology platforms and assets currently in various development stages. Our execution is achieved, in part, through our internal core team and utilizing our large network of experts, contract labs, and academic partners.
Our Science Strategy
Our goal is to develop immuno-oncology therapeutics that will dramatically improve the standard-of-care for patients with cancer. The key elements of our scientific strategy are to:
Build a pipeline of differentiated oncology therapeutic candidates that are diversified by mechanism, therapeutic approach, modality, stage of development, leading to a variety of deal types that can be executed with partners;
|•||Expand our pipeline through research collaborations, business development, and internally designed programs;|
|•||Continue to advance and evolve our pipeline with a goal of advancing one therapeutic candidate into the clinic and one program into IND-enabling studies each year; and|
|•||Evaluate strategic opportunities to accelerate development timelines and maximize the value of our portfolio.|
We have built a pipeline of targeted oncology and immuno-oncology therapeutic candidates and programs that are diversified by mechanism, therapeutic approach, modality, and stage of development. On an ongoing basis, we rigorously assess each of our programs using internally defined success criteria to justify continued investment and determine proper capital allocation. When certain programs do not meet our de-risking criteria for advancement, we look to monetize or terminate those programs and preserve our capital and resources to invest in programs with greater potential. As a result, our pipeline will continue to be dynamic.
The chart below sets forth only as of February 1, 2021, the current state of our immuno-oncology therapeutic candidates and programs. The chart contains forward looking information and projections based on management's current estimates. The chart information is based on and subject to many assumptions, as determined by management and not verified by any independent third party, which may change or may not occur as modeled. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Before you make an investment decision regarding the company, you should make your own analysis of forward-looking statements and our projections about candidate and program development and results.
Our Programs and Technology
Invariant Natural Killer T-cells (iNKT cells) Platform
iNKT cells play an important role in anti-tumour immune responses and are a distinct class of T lymphocyte displaying a limited diversity of T-cell receptors. They recognize lipid antigens on the surface of tumour cells and produce large amounts of cytokines within hours of stimulation without the need for clonal expansion. Furthermore, iNKT cells activate multiple immune system components, including dendritic cells, T-cells and B-cells and stimulate an antigen-specific expansion of these cells. An operating subsidiary holds an exclusive license (with the right to sub-license) from the Ludwig Institute to use, research, develop and commercialize iNKT cell agonists, for the treatment of various forms of human disease, including cancer, under the Ludwig Institute's intellectual property and know-how.
PORT 2 (IMM60)
PORT-2 is an iNKT cell activator/agonist formulated in a liposome with a 6-member carbon head structure that has been shown to activate both human and murine iNKT cells, resulting in dendritic cell (DC) maturation and the priming of Ag-specific T and B cells. PORT-2 is ready to commence in a Phase 1/2 dose escalation and expansion trial in approximately 100 participants with melanoma or non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) in order to evaluate the safety and efficacy after receiving regulatory approval from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in the United Kingdom and Research Ethics Board at Oxford University. When COVID restrictions ease in the United Kingdom, the company expects the first patient to be treated soon thereafter.
In animal models, PORT-2 enhanced the frequency of tumour specific immune responses (Jukes 2016). iNKT cells are unique lymphocytes defined by their co-expression of surface markers associated with NK cells along with a T-cell antigen receptor (Schmieg 2005). They recognise amphipathic ligands such as glycolipids or phospholipids presented in the context of the non-polymorphic, MHC class I-like molecule CD1d. Activated iNKT cells rapidly produce IFN-gamma and IL-4 and induce dendritic cell (DC) maturation and IL-12 production (Cerundolo 2009, Salio 2009, Speak 2008, Fujii 2013).
PORT 3 (IMM65)
PORT-3 is a PLGA-nanoparticle formulation of IMM60 combined with a NY-ESO-1 peptide vaccine which is about to begin enrolling in an open-label, dose-escalation and expansion study of its iNKT agonist after receiving regulatory and institution ethics approval. The combination product has the ability to prime and boost an anti-tumor immune response.
Biodegradable PLGA-nanoparticles function as a delivery platform for immunomodulators and tumor antigens to induce a specific anti-tumor immune response. PLGA has minimal (systemic) toxicity and is used in various drug-carrying platforms as an encapsulating agent. Furthermore, co-formulating an iNKT inhibitor with a peptide vaccine in a particle has show to be approximately 5 times more potent in killing cancer cells and generating an antigen specific CD8 T-cell response than giving the 2 agents individually (ref Dolen et al Oncoimmunology paper)
NY-ESO-1 is a cancer-testis antigen expressed during embryogenesis and in the testis, an immune privileged site. Furthermore, NY-ESO-1 expression is observed in several advanced cancers: lung (2-32%), melanoma (40%), bladder (32-35%), prostate (38%), ovarian (30%), esophageal (24-33%), and gastric cancers (8-12%). Clinical trials have shown the safety and tolerability of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)-grade NY-ESO-1 peptides in patients with cancer.
Intratumoral amphiphilic platform
DfuseRx SM, identifies combinations of anti cancer agents with amphiphilic diffuse enhancers that can passively enter into cancer cells. These novel formulations with unique IP can be directly injected into any solid tumours, and the payloads will diffuse across the membrane and disperse throughout the tumor, while sparing healthy cells. Once inside the cells, the technology is diluted away and the payloads are stuck inside the cell. The payloads are able to disperse to areas of the tumor that do not have blood supply and hence oral or IV drugs will not reach.
PORT 1 (INT230-6)
The lead asset is PORT-1, a fixed dose formulation of cisplatin, vinblastine and a penetration enhancer. In Animal models, the drug is able to cure the majority of the animals, by a combination of direct killing of the cancer, and also a CD4 and CD8 T-cell response (Bloom et al). The specific rapid local killing in the normal 3-dimensional environment inside the body we believe is critical for robust antigen presentation and immune activation. Animal studies also showed synergy when combined with checkpoint inhibition (Bender et al, Bloom et al). The product has been dosed into 70 subjects in a Phase 1/2 trial. This has shown proof of concept that the vast majority of the drug stays in the tumor, and a dose equivalent to 3x the approved dose of the cytotoxic agent was very well tolerated without the typical chemo side effects. The most common adverse event related to the treatment was pain at the injection site. As a result, PORT-1 has launched 8 phase 2 studies including 7 clinical collaborations with the two largest immuno-oncology drug manufacturers, BMS and Merck in combination with their respective checkpoints in high unmet need medical types (pancreatic, gall bladder, sarcoma, non-microsatellite unstable colorectal, etc.). In many of these tumor types, the checkpoint drug alone has no activity. As a result of exciting preliminary data (ref ASCO 2020, SITC 2020), we have secured fast track regulatory status from the FDA for triple negative breast cancer.
PORT 4, Nanolipogel (NLG) co-formulation Platform
Scientists are interested in novel ways to deliver multiple signals to the immune system in order to better activate an anti-tumor response. We have been impressed with a platform from Yale University that allows different types of agents to be packaged together and will concentrate them in tumors. We have licensed the platform for delivery of DNA aptamers and certain aptamer-small molecule-based combination products. In order to have multiple proprietary agents with known mechanisms of action, W have licensed rights to create DNA aptamers from D5 pharma. The first one developed is a proprietary PD1 aptamer which has been placed in the NLG formulation. Early testing has shown the formulation properly modulates PD1 signaling in vitro similar to a PD1 antibody I. In non-clinical, in vivo experiments, the NLG-PD1 performed favorably compared to a mouse PD1 antibody. The additional funding will support exploration of multiple PD1 based co-formulations with small molecules and other DNA aptamers. We hope to name its first clinical candidate in 2021.
PORT-5, STING Agonist Platform
Proprietary immune priming and boosting technology (using a STING agonist delivered in a virus-like particle) have shown proof of concept in animal models and are beginning to progress the lead asset towards the clinic. This platform offers multiple ways to target immune stimulation towards the cancer, as well as to co-deliver multiple signals in a single product. Our researchers have developed a way to administer the product systemically and does not require direct tumor injections. This technology preferentially targets immune cells, which is differentiated from other chemical STING approaches. The company is progressing this project towards clinical trials as well as developing next generation compounds. Given that this is a simple way to boost the immune response to any target, we are also pursuing a project to boost immune response to COVID and other pathogens.
Other Early-Stage R&D
We continue to evaluate and test new antibody targets. Our interest here lies in the suppressive tumor micro-environment, and how we can down regulate or remove MDSC, TAMs, Tregs and other signals that impede the immune response from clearing cancer cells. One new effort that we have initiated is collaborations with two leading artificial intelligence/machine learning companies in order to screen for agents with specific attributes in this area. This may allow us a fast track an asset to the clinic with a re-purposed product.
Our Business Model
We employ a shared service business model to execute our strategy of building a diversified oncology company in a capital efficient manner and to provide us with the flexibility to either advance therapeutic candidates ourselves or through transactions with third parties. Our flat organization consists of a holding company, Portage Biotech Inc. and an operating company, Portage Development Services ('PDS'), which provide human resources, and other services to each operating subsidiary via a shared services agreement. We believe that by centralizing these shared services, including all research and development operations, administrative services, and business development, and allocating employees and resources to each operating subsidiary, we can enhance operational efficiency and maintain an optimal cost structure.
Our business model also enables us to access both internal and external expertise to build and develop our pipeline. We incubate internal programs in our hub, leveraging PDS's internal resources and network of service providers as needed to support our discovery, lead optimization, and IND-enabling efforts. When we decide to license from or collaborate with external parties, we establish distinct subsidiaries, to hold and advance those programs. This structure enables us to keep licensors economically incentivized at the program level through our ability to offer equity and access to potential cash milestones and royalty payments.
In the figure below, each operating subsidiary reflects its respective technology platform, therapeutic candidates as well as approximate economic ownership, as of December 31, 2020, as a percentage of fully-diluted shares outstanding is listed below each circle.
The structure of our financing arrangements with each subsidiary enables us to increase our economic ownership when we provide additional capital.
PDS is our wholly-owned operating subsidiary that employs all of our team members and incubates discovery programs until we establish an operating subsidiary in which to further advance them. We centralize shared services, including all research and development operations, administrative services, and business development at PDS Management, and allocate employees and resources to each spoke based on the needs and development stage of each therapeutic candidate.
Our business model is designed to (i) enhance operational efficiency, (ii) maintain an optimal cost structure, (iii) attract leading collaborators, and (iv) promote asset flexibility, as further described below.
Enhance operational efficiency: We centralize all employees and services at our hub and allocate resources to spokes as needed. We empower managers to access these resources and make program-level decisions in order to increase productivity and speed. We believe this model enables a flexible organizational structure that can achieve scale through the addition of programs without increasing burdensome bureaucracy or redundant infrastructure.
|•||Maintain an optimal cost structure: We have a relatively small number of employees and have built a network of trusted external service providers, choosing to leverage their infrastructure and expertise as needed instead of embarking on capital-intensive lab, manufacturing, and equipment expenditures. By reducing overhead costs, we believe we can increase the likelihood that we can generate a return on invested capital.|
Attract leading collaborators and licensors: Each of our subsidiaries has its own capitalization and governance, enabling us to keep licensors economically incentivized at the program level. We believe that the experienced leadership team and shared services at our hub differentiate us from other potential licensees.
|•||Promote asset flexibility: Each operating subsidiary is a separate legal entity that holds the relevant intellectual property of its therapeutic candidates or programs and has none of its own employees, fixed assets, or overhead costs. This allows us to efficiently pursue various subsidiary-level transactions, such as stock or asset sales, licensing transactions, strategic partnerships, co-development arrangements, or spin-outs. It also provides us with the flexibility to terminate programs with minimal costs if results do not meet our de-risking criteria for advancement.|
Like all companies operating in the pharmaceutical or biotherapeutic development sector, we face competition from well-established large pharmaceutical companies as well as innovative new entrants. Due to the prevalence of cancer there are many companies that operate in this space. There are many companies that are focusing their efforts in this space. Some of the smaller entrants in this space with which we may compete with over time include Cullinan Oncology, LLC, which develops high value therapeutics geared towards dramatically improving the standard of care for those living with cancer, and PureTech Health, which develops medicines for diseases including intractable cancers, lymphatic and GI diseases, and immunotherapy companies such as Black Diamond Therapeutics, Repare Therapeutics, Nuvation Bio, Shattuck Labs, Jounce Therapeutics Company, Syndax Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Iteos Therapeutics S.A., among others.
Nevertheless, we believe our strategic intent is sufficiently differentiated in that we are focusing on multiple aspects of resistance to current immunotherapies based on our experience at BMS developing Opdivo and Yervoy. If you focus on the mechanisms that we are interrogating, there are few direct competitors testing these mechanisms. We believe one of our strengths beyond the experience of our officers and directors is our keen ability to understand what good looks like from the eyes of a pharma partner. We have a broad understanding of the landscape that will come to market by the time our products are commercialized, what the needs are of our potential acquirers, how to package up our programs, who to speak to and when in respect to licensing. We pair that with a gated and focus execution plans that is laser focused on value added experiments, the nature of which are pre-vetted with our potential partners. We also believe that our extensive collaborations within the research facilities of leading, world class universities and institutes, such as the Department of Investigative Medicine at University of Oxford, The National Cancer Institute, the University of Glasgow, the Institut Curie, the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Yale University, Radboud University, and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Inc., among others, gives us an advantage in our research capabilities, as well as enable us to access and develop innovative technologies. On top of that our relationships in academia, the private sector and network of talent is what makes this engine turn.
We were originally incorporated in Ontario, Canada, in 1973. The company was inactive until 1985. Then between 1986 and 2012, the company was engaged in variety of businesses. During the period 1986 to 2012, the company went through several name changes ending with Bontan Corporation Inc. (Bontan).
In December 2012, the company decided to change the focus of its business activities, and in 2013, the company began its business focus within the biotechnology sector. On June 4, 2013, the company acquired Portage Pharma Ltd., a biotech private limited company formed under the laws of the British Virgin Islands, by an exchange of shares.
On July 5, 2013, the company changed its name to Portage Biotech Inc. and moved its jurisdiction from Ontario, Canada, to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) under a certificate of continuance issued by the Registrar of Corporate Affairs of the BVI.
The company now is a BVI company limited by shares with its registered office located at FH Chambers, P.O. Box 4649, Road Town, Tortola, BVI. Its Toronto agent, Portage Services Ltd., is located at 6 Adelaide Street East Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario M5C 1H6 Canada.
USE OF PROCEEDS
Unless otherwise indicated in the prospectus supplement, the net proceeds from the sale of securities offered hereby will be used for general corporate purposes and working capital requirements, which may include, among other things, the repayment or repurchase of debt obligations, redemption of outstanding equity securities and other capital expenditures. We may also use a portion of the net proceeds for licensing or acquiring intellectual property or technologies to incorporate into our products and product candidates or our research and development programs, capital expenditures, to fund possible investments in and acquisitions of complementary businesses or partnerships. We have not determined the amounts we plan to spend on the areas listed above or the timing of these expenditures, and we have no current plans with respect to acquisitions as of the date of this prospectus. As a result, unless otherwise indicated in the prospectus supplement, our management will have broad discretion to allocate the net proceeds of the offerings. Pending their ultimate use, we intend to invest the net proceeds in a variety of securities, including commercial paper, government and non-government debt securities and/or money market funds that invest in such securities.
DESCRIPTION OF THE ORDINARY SHARES WE MAY OFFER
The following description of our ordinary shares is only a summary. This description and the description contained in any prospectus supplement is subject to, and qualified in its entirety by reference to, our memorandum and articles of association, the memorandum and articles, each as amended from time to time, which has previously been filed with the SEC and in the Territory of the British Virgin Islands, pursuant to the BVI Business Companies Act, 2004, as amended (the 'Companies Law').
Our authorized capital stock includes an unlimited number of ordinary shares, with no par value per share. As of the date of this prospectus, there are 12,083,395 ordinary shares issued and outstanding. No shares are held in treasury. We are not authorized to issue any preferred stock.
Rights of Holders of Ordinary Shares
All of our outstanding shares are fully paid and non-assessable. We do have the right to issue shares for cash and other consideration. Additionally, shares may not be fully paid, but are then susceptible to being forfeited by the company until fully paid and non-assessable. Certificates representing the shares are issued in registered form and book entry form. Our shareholders who are non-residents of the British Virgin Islands may freely hold and vote their shares.
By a resolution of directors, we may declare and pay dividends in money, shares, or other property at such time and of such an amount as the board things fit if they are satisfied on the reasonable grounds that the company will, immediately after the distribution, satisfy the solvency test set forth in the Companies Law.
Our unissued shares shall be at the disposal of the directors who may without prejudice to any rights previously conferred on the holders of any existing shares or class or series of shares offer, allot, grant options over or otherwise dispose of shares or other securities to such persons, at such times and upon such terms and conditions as we may by resolution of the directors determine. Before issuing shares for a consideration other than money, the directors shall pass a resolution stating the amount to be credited for the issue of the shares, and that, in their opinion, the present cash value of the non-money consideration and money consideration for the issue is not less than the amount to be credited for the issue of the shares.
Each share is entitled to one vote on all matters upon which the shares are entitled to vote. We are required by our memorandum and articles to hold an annual general meeting each year at least 15 months after the prior annual meeting. Additionally, our directors may convene meetings of our shareholders at such times and in such-manner and places within or outside the British Virgin Islands as the directors consider necessary or desirable. At least 21 days' notice of the meeting shall be given, counting from the date of service of the notice. The directors may fix as the record date for determining those shareholders entitled to vote at the meeting, but the record date shall not precede by more than 60 days or by less than 40 days the date of which the meeting is to be held. In addition, notice of the meeting shall be posted on SEDAR at least 25 days before the record date and at least 65 days before the date of the meeting.
Upon the written request of shareholders holding 10% or more of the outstanding voting rights attaching to our shares the directors shall convene a meeting of shareholders not later than 45 days after deposit of the demand. The directors shall give not less than 21 days' notice of a meeting of shareholders to those persons whose names at the close of business on a day to be determined by the directors appear as shareholders in our share register and are entitled to vote at the meeting.
A meeting of shareholders is duly constituted if, at the commencement of the meeting, there are present in person or by proxy not less than two persons. Shareholder resolutions may be decided by a show of hands unless a poll is demanded by the chairman or one or more shareholders present in person or by proxy entitled to vote. On a show of hands, each shareholder has one vote.
An action that may be taken by the shareholders at a meeting may also be taken by a resolution of shareholders consented to in writing without the need for any notice, but if any resolution of shareholders is adopted otherwise than by the unanimous written consent of all shareholders, a copy of such resolution shall forthwith be sent to all shareholders not consenting to such resolution.
Any shareholder that is a corporation or other entity may by resolution of its directors or other governing body authorize a natural person to act as its representative at any meeting of the company or of any meeting of holders of a class or series, and the person so authorized shall be entitled to exercise the same powers on behalf of the corporation or other entity which he represents as that corporation or entity could exercise if it were an individual shareholder.
Transfer of Shares.
Certificated shares in our company may be transferred by a written instrument of transfer signed by the transferor and containing the name and address of the transferee, but in the absence of such written evidence of transfer the directors may accept such evidence of a transfer of shares as they consider appropriate. We may also issue shares in uncertificated form. We shall not be required to treat a transferee of a registered share in our Company as a member until the transferee's name has been entered in the share register. The register of members may be closed at such times and for such periods as the board of directors may from time to time determine.
In the case of the distribution of assets by a voluntary liquidator on a winding-up of our company, subject to payment of, or to discharge of, all claims, debts, liabilities and obligations of our company, any surplus assets shall then be distributed amongst the shareholders according to their rights and interests in our company according to our memorandum and articles.
Calls on Shares and Forfeiture of Shares.
Our board of directors may from time to time make calls upon shareholders for any amounts unpaid on their shares in a notice served to such shareholders at least 14 days prior to the specified time and place of payment. The shares that have been called upon and remain unpaid at the specified time are subject to forfeiture.
Redemption of Shares.
The Companies Law provides that subject to the memorandum and articles, shareholders holding 90% or more of all the voting shares in a company, may instruct the directors to redeem the shares of the remaining shareholders. The directors shall be required to redeem the shares of the minority shareholders, whether or not the shares are by their terms redeemable. The directors must notify the minority shareholders in writing of the redemption price to be paid for the shares and the manner in which the redemption is to be effected. In the event that a minority shareholder objects to the redemption price to be paid and the parties are unable to agree to the redemption amount payable, the Companies Law sets out a mechanism whereby the shareholder and the company may each appoint an appraiser, who will together appoint a third appraiser and all three appraisers will have the power to determine the fair value of the shares to be compulsorily redeemed. Pursuant to the Companies Law, the determination of the three appraisers shall be binding on the company and the minority shareholder for all purposes.
Variations of Rights of Shares.
If at any time, there are different classes or series of shares issued and outstanding, unless otherwise provided by the terms at the time of issuance of those shares of that class or series, the rights and privileges attaching to any such class or series may, whether or not the company is being wound up, be varied with the consent in writing of the holders of not less than three-fourths of the issued and outstanding shares of the class or series and of the holders of not less than three-fourths of the issued and outstanding shares of any other class or series of shares which may be adversely affected by such variation.
Differences in Corporate Law
The Companies Law differs from laws generally applicable to United States corporations and their shareholders. Set forth below is a brief summary of the significant differences between the provisions of the Companies Law applicable to us and the laws applicable to companies incorporated in the United States and their shareholders. The discussion of the variations does not cover any requirements of a stock exchange, trading medium or any applicable securities laws.
Protection for Minority Shareholders.
Under the laws of most U.S. jurisdictions, majority and controlling shareholders of a company generally have certain 'fiduciary' responsibilities to the minority shareholders. Corporate actions taken by majority and controlling shareholders which are unreasonable and materially detrimental to the interest of minority shareholders may be declared null and void. The rights of minority shareholders of British Virgin Islands companies will typically be governed by British Virgin Islands law. These include the statutory right not to suffer the company's affairs to be conducted in a manner which is oppressive, unfairly discriminatory or unfairly prejudicial in their capacity as shareholders, as well as certain protections at common law. The common law of the British Virgin Islands (including as to the obligations of fiduciaries) is based on English common law. The availability and interpretation of minority shareholder rights under British Virgin Islands law may differ from the position in the United States, even in relation to laws which may appear to be analogous. Similarly, the exercise and enforcement of such rights may involve seeking remedies under foreign law before a court or tribunal outside the United States, where the procedure and outcome may differ from what might apply or eventuate in a court in the United States.
The Companies Law also provides that shareholders of the company owning 90% of the votes entitled to be voted may cause the company to redeem the shares held by the remaining shareholders.
Powers of Directors.
The directors of a British Virgin Islands company, subject in certain cases to the approval of the court (which will generally require shareholder approval), may implement the sale, transfer, exchange or disposition of any asset, property, part of the business, or securities of the company, if the board determines such transaction to be in the best interests of the company, its creditors, or its shareholders, with the exception that shareholder approval may be required for any sale, transfer, lease exchange or other disposition of more than 50% in value of the assets of the company other than in the usual or regular course of business of the company. The Companies Law, however, provides that the memorandum and articles of a company may exclude application of the above shareholder approval requirement for the disposition of 50% or more of the assets as set forth in Section 175 of the Companies Law. Our memorandum and articles incorporates the exclusion; therefore our directors may act to sell or otherwise dispose of any or all the assets of the company without restriction and without complying with section 175 of the Companies Law.
Directors appoint the officers and establish the responsibilities of the officer positions.
Unlike in United States corporate law, any director of the company may in writing appoint another person, who need not be a director, to be his alternate, provided such person has consented in writing to be an alternate director. An alternate director has the same rights as the appointing director in relation to any director's meeting and any written resolution circulated for written consent. Every such alternate director shall therefore be entitled to attend meetings in the absence of the director who appointed him and to vote in the place of the director and sign written consents. Where the alternate is a director he shall be entitled to have a separate vote on behalf of the director he is representing in addition to his own vote. A director may at any time in writing revoke the appointment of an alternate appointed by him. An alternate director may not be an officer of the company. The remuneration of an alternate director shall be payable out of the remuneration of the director appointing him and the proportion thereof shall be agreed between them.
Any director that is a corporation or other entity may by resolution of its directors or other governing body authorize a natural person to act as its representative at any meeting of the directors or of a committee of directors, and the person so authorized shall be entitled to exercise the same powers on behalf of the corporation or other entity which he represents as that corporation or entity could exercise if it were an individual director.
Conflict of Interests.
Similar to the laws of most United States jurisdictions, when a director becomes aware of the fact that he has an interest in a transaction which the company is to enter into, he must disclose it to the board. With sufficient disclosure of the interest in relation to that transaction, the director who is interested in a transaction entered into or to be entered into by us may (i) vote on a matter relating to the transaction; (ii) attend a meeting of directors at which a matter relating to the transaction arises and be included in the quorum; and (iii) sign a document on behalf of the company, or do any other thing in his capacity as a director, that relates to the transaction. If there is required disclosure by a director, which is not made, then the transaction is voidable by the company, unless the transaction is one that is an ordinary course transaction of the company.
Written Consent and Cumulative Voting.
Similar to the laws of most U.S. jurisdictions, under the British Virgin Islands law, shareholders are permitted to approve matters by way of written resolution in place of a formal meeting. Our memorandum and articles provides that actions of the shareholders may be taken in writing, including by telex, telegram, cable, facsimile or other written electronic communication, without the need for any notice. If any resolution is adopted otherwise than by written consent of a majority of the shareholders, a copy of the resolution shall be sent to all shareholders not consenting to such resolution.
The Companies Law does not make a specific reference to cumulative voting, and our current memorandum and articles have no provisions authorizing cumulative voting.
There is no requirement for a majority, or for that matter any, of the directors of the company to be independent under British Virgin Islands law.
Forfeiture of Shares.
Although we intend to only sell our shares upon receipt of the full purchase price, if shares are not fully paid, then under our memorandum and articles and the Companies Law any shares that are not fully paid are subject to forfeiture. The company has the right to demand full payment at any time, upon notice served on the shareholder stating the time and amount due, and advising the shareholder that if the payment is not made then the shares will be forfeited and cancelled. Any funds paid in respect of shares which are subsequently forfeited is non-refundable.
Redemption and Treasury Shares.
The company may purchase, redeem or otherwise acquire and hold its own shares in such manner and upon such other terms as the directors may agree with the relevant shareholder(s). Subject to the Companies Law, we may redeem our shares only with the consent of the shareholders whose shares are to be redeemed, except that the consent from the shareholders is not needed under the circumstances of the compulsory redemption, at the request of the shareholders holding 90% of the votes of the outstanding shares entitled to vote, of the remaining issued shares.
The Companies Law does not provide anti-takeover measures, similar to some jurisdictions in the United States. Generally speaking, our memorandum and articles do not introduce anti-takeover measures. For example, we have shareholder action permitted by written consent, directors may be removed with or without cause, and we do not have staggered board appointments. While we do not have any other class of equity authorized, which could have anti-takeover effect, we do have unlimited ordinary shares and could use them for an anti-takeover plan or action, such as a poison pill plan, which would have to be in place before a takeover offer is in contemplation, as, if not, the directors might be seen as exercising their powers for an improper purpose in trying to introduce such a measure.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the company could consider and adopt anti-takeover measures. Some of these require an amendment to our articles association and/or the memorandum of association, which would have to be approved by way of director and/or shareholder resolutions.
Shareholder's Access to Corporate Records.
Similar to the corporate laws in the United States, a shareholder is entitled, on giving written notice to the company, to inspect the company's (i) memorandum and articles of association; (ii) register of members; (iii) register of directors; and (iv) minutes of meetings and resolutions of members and of those classes of members of which he is a member. A shareholder is also entitled to copies of the records. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the directors may limit access to company records it is contrary to the company interests. However, where a shareholder is denied access to the company records, the shareholder may apply to the courts for an order to permit access and copying. We have not restricted the provisions of the Companies Law in regard to access to the records of the company.
Similar to the corporate law in the United States, British Virgin Islands law does not limit the extent to which a company's memorandum and articles of association may provide for indemnification of officers and directors, except to the extent any such provision may be held by the British Virgin Islands courts to be contrary to public policy, such as to provide indemnification against civil fraud or the consequences of committing a crime.
Our memorandum and articles provide for the indemnification of our directors against all losses or liabilities incurred or sustained by a director as a director of our company in defending any proceedings, whether civil or criminal and this indemnity only applies if he or she acted honestly and in good faith with a view to our best interests and, with respect to any criminal action, he or she must have had no reasonable cause to believe his or her conduct was unlawful.
We may purchase and maintain insurance in relation to any person who is or was a director, or who at the request of the company is or was serving as a director of, or in any other capacity is or was acting for another body corporate or a partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise, against any liability asserted against the person and incurred by the person in that capacity, whether or not the Company has or would have had the power to indemnify the person against the liability.
Mergers and Similar Arrangements.
The Companies Law, in Part IX, provides for the merger and other combination arrangements for companies. In order to merge or consolidate, the directors of each constituent company must approve a written plan of merger or consolidation which must be authorized by a resolution of shareholders.
While a director may vote on a merger or consolidation even if he has a financial interest in the plan of merger of consolidation, in order for the resolution to be valid and the transaction not voidable, the interest must have been disclosed to the board forthwith upon him becoming aware of such interest. The transaction will not be voidable if the shareholders approve it.
Shareholders not otherwise entitled to vote on a merger or consolidation may still acquire the right to vote if the plan of merger or consolidation contains any provision which, if proposed as an amendment to the memorandum or articles of association, would entitle them to vote as a class or series on the proposed amendment. In any event, all shareholders must be given a copy of the plan of merger or consolidation irrespective of whether they are entitled to vote at the meeting or consent to the written resolution to approve the plan of merger or consolidation.
The shareholders of the constituent companies are not required to receive shares of the surviving or consolidated company but may receive cash, debt obligations or other securities of the surviving or consolidated company, or other assets, or a combination thereof. Further, some or all of the shares of a class or series may be converted into a kind of asset while the other shares of the same class or series may receive a different kind of asset. As such, not all the shares of a class or series must receive the same kind of consideration.
After the plan of merger or consolidation has been approved by the directors and authorized by a resolution of the shareholders, articles of merger or consolidation are executed by each company and filed with the Registrar of Corporate Affairs in the British Virgin Islands.
A shareholder may dissent from a mandatory redemption of his shares, an arrangement (if permitted by the court), a merger (unless the shareholder was a shareholder of the surviving company prior to the merger and continues to hold the same or similar shares after the merger) and a consolidation. A shareholder properly exercising his dissenter rights is entitled to payment of the fair value of their shares.
A shareholder dissenting from a merger or consolidation must object in writing to the merger or consolidation before the vote by the shareholders on the merger or consolidation, unless notice of the meeting was not given to the shareholder. If the merger or consolidation is approved by the shareholders, the company must within 20 days give notice of this fact to each shareholder who gave written objection, and to each shareholder who did not receive notice of the meeting. Such shareholders then have 20 days to give to the company their written election in the form specified by the Companies Law to dissent from the merger or consolidation, provided that in the case of a merger, the 20 days starts when the plan of merger is delivered to the shareholder.
Upon giving notice of his election to dissent, a shareholder ceases to have any rights of a shareholder except the right to be paid the fair value of his shares. As such, the merger or consolidation may proceed in the ordinary course notwithstanding the dissent.
Within seven days of the later of the delivery of the notice of election to dissent and the effective date of the merger or consolidation, the company must make a written offer to each dissenting shareholder to purchase his shares at a specified price that the company determines to represent fair value. The company and the shareholder then have 30 days to agree upon the price. If the company and the shareholder fail to agree on the price within the 30 days, then the company and the shareholder shall each designate an appraiser and these two appraisers shall designate a third appraiser. These three appraisers shall fix the fair value of the shares as of the close of business on the day before the shareholders approved the transaction without taking into account any change in value as a result of the transaction.
Similar to the corporate laws in the United States, the Companies Law permits derivative actions against its directors. However, the circumstances under which such actions may be brought, and the procedures and defenses available under British Virgin Islands law may result in the rights of shareholders of a British Virgin Islands company being more limited than those of shareholders of a company incorporated and/or existing in the United States.
The British Virgin Islands does not have provision for 'class actions.' It does however provide for 'representative action', whereby a representative may be appointed to represent parties with the same interest. In such cases those parties will typically be bound by any decision in the proceedings. Section 184C(1) of the Companies Law specifically provides for the process by which a claim may be brought 'derivatively' on behalf of a company by one of its shareholders. Importantly, proceedings may not be brought by a shareholder without leave of the court. The courts of the British Virgin Islands may, on the application of a shareholder of a company, grant leave to that shareholder to bring proceedings in the name and on behalf of that company, or intervene in proceedings to which the company is a party for the purpose of continuing, defending or discontinuing the proceedings on behalf of the company. In determining whether to grant leave, the High Court of the British Virgin Islands must take into account (i) whether the shareholder is acting in good faith. (ii) whether the derivative action is in the interests of the company taking account of the views of the company's directors on commercial matters. (iii) whether the proceedings are likely to succeed. (iv) the costs of the proceedings in relation to the relief likely to be obtained. and (v) whether an alternative remedy to the derivative claim is available.
Leave to bring or intervene in proceedings may be granted only if the High Court of the British Virgin Islands is satisfied that (i) the company does not intend to bring, diligently continue or defend, or discontinue the proceedings, as the case may be or (ii) it is in the interests of the company that the conduct of the proceedings should not be left to the directors or to the determination of the shareholders as a whole.
Anti-Takeover Effect of Authorized but Unissued Ordinary Shares
The Companies Law does not require shareholder approval for any issuance of our ordinary shares. The ordinary shares that may be issued under our memorandum and articles may be used for a variety of corporate purposes, including future public offerings, to raise additional capital or to facilitate acquisitions. One of the effects of the existence of unissued and unreserved ordinary shares may be to enable our board of directors to sell shares to persons friendly to current management, for such consideration, in form and amount, as is acceptable to the board of directors, which issuance could render more difficult or discourage an attempt to obtain control of us by means of a merger, tender offer, proxy contest or otherwise, and thereby protect the continuity of our management and possibly deprive shareholders of opportunities to sell their ordinary shares at prices higher than prevailing market prices.
DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS WE MAY OFFER
The following description of warrants is only a summary. This description is subject to, and qualified in its entirety by reference to, the provisions of the applicable warrant agreement.
We may issue warrants for the purchase of debt securities, ordinary shares or units. Warrants may be issued independently or together with debt securities, ordinary shares or units and may be attached to or separate from any other offered securities. Any issuance of warrants will be governed by the terms of the applicable form of warrant and any related warrant agreement, which we will file as an exhibit to our registration statement at or before the time we issue any warrants.
The particular terms of any issue of warrants will be described in the prospectus supplement relating to the issue. Those terms may include:
The prospectus supplement relating to any warrants to purchase equity securities may also include, if applicable, a discussion of certain U.S. federal income tax and ERISA considerations.
Each warrant will entitle its holder to purchase the principal amount of debt securities or the number of ordinary shares or units at the exercise price set forth in, or calculable as set forth in, the applicable prospectus supplement.
After the close of business on the expiration date, unexercised warrants will become void. We will specify the place or places where, and the manner in which, warrants may be exercised in the applicable prospectus supplement.
Prior to the exercise of any warrants to purchase ordinary shares, debt securities or units, holders of the warrants will not have any of the rights as holders of the ordinary shares, debt securities or units purchasable upon exercise.
DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES WE MAY OFFER
The following description of the terms of debt securities that we may issue and the related indenture, if any, is only a summary. This description and the description contained in any prospectus supplement are subject to and qualified in their entirety by reference to the applicable indentures, which will be incorporated by reference as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.
We may offer secured or unsecured debt securities in one or more series which may be senior, subordinated or junior subordinated, and which may be convertible or exchangeable into another security. Unless otherwise specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, our debt securities will be issued in one or more series under an indenture to be entered into by us and a bank or trust company. As of the date of this prospectus, we have not entered into any indenture agreements.
The following description briefly sets forth certain general terms and provisions of the debt securities. The particular terms of the debt securities offered by any prospectus supplement and the extent, if any, to which these general provisions may apply to the debt securities, will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement.
The terms of the debt securities will include those set forth in the applicable indenture and those made a part of the applicable indenture by the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, or TIA, if any. You should read this summary, the applicable prospectus supplement, and the provisions of the applicable indenture or supplemental indenture, if any, in their entirety before investing in our debt securities.
The aggregate principal amount of debt securities that may be issued under the respective indentures may be unlimited. The prospectus supplement relating to any series of debt securities that we may offer will contain the specific terms of the debt securities. These terms may include the following:
We may sell the debt securities, including original issue discount securities, at par or at a substantial discount below their stated principal amount. Unless we inform you otherwise in a prospectus supplement, we may issue additional debt securities of a particular series without the consent of the holders of the debt securities of such series or any other series outstanding at the time of issuance. Any such additional debt securities, together with all other outstanding debt securities of that series, will constitute a single series of securities under the applicable indenture.
We will describe in the applicable prospectus supplement any other special considerations for any debt securities we sell which are denominated in a currency or currency unit other than U.S. dollars. In addition, debt securities may be issued where the amount of principal and/or interest payable is determined by reference to one or more currency exchange rates, commodity prices, equity indices or other factors. Holders of such securities may receive a principal amount or a payment of interest that is greater than or less than the amount of principal or interest otherwise payable on such dates, depending upon the value of the applicable currencies, commodities, equity indices or other factors. Information as to the methods for determining the amount of principal or interest, if any, payable on any date, the currencies, commodities, equity indices or other factors to which the amount payable on such date is linked.
United States federal income tax consequences and special considerations, if any, applicable to any such series will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement. Unless we inform you otherwise in the applicable prospectus supplement, the debt securities will not be listed on any securities exchange.
We expect most debt securities to be issued in fully registered form without coupons and in denominations of U.S. $5,000 and any integral multiples of $1,000 in excess thereof. Subject to the limitations provided in the applicable indenture and in the prospectus supplement, debt securities that are issued in registered form may be transferred or exchanged at the designated corporate trust office of the trustee, without the payment of any service charge, other than any tax or other governmental charge payable in connection therewith.
Unless we inform you otherwise in the applicable prospectus supplement, the debt securities of a series may be issued in whole or in part in the form of one or more global securities that will be deposited with, or on behalf of, a depositary identified in the applicable prospectus supplement. Global securities will be issued in registered form and in either temporary or definitive form. Unless and until it is exchanged in whole or in part for the individual debt securities, a global security may not be transferred except as a whole by the depositary for such global security to a nominee of such depositary or by a nominee of such depositary to such depositary or another nominee of such depositary or by such depositary or any such nominee to a successor of such depositary or a nominee of such successor. The specific terms of the depositary arrangement with respect to any debt securities of a series and the rights of and limitations upon owners of beneficial interests in a global security will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement.
The indentures and the corresponding debt securities shall be construed in accordance with and governed by the laws of the jurisdiction identified in the indenture.
DESCRIPTION OF UNITS WE MAY OFFER
We may issue units consisting of a combination of two or more of any offered securities, at a single price or at a separate price for each security included in the unit. The securities offered may be issued separately or may be evidenced by a separate unit certificate, which may or may not trade separately. The terms and conditions governing the issuance of any units, including the form and content of any certificate evidencing the units, will be described in detail in the prospectus supplement to be filed in connection with the offering of such units.
PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION
We may sell the securities offered through this prospectus (1) to or through underwriters or dealers, (2) directly to purchasers, including our affiliates, (3) through agents, or (4) through a combination of any these methods. The securities may be distributed at a fixed price or prices, which may be changed, market prices prevailing at the time of sale, prices related to the prevailing market prices, or negotiated prices. The prospectus supplement will include the following information:
•the terms of the offering;
• the names of any underwriters or agents;
• the name or names of any managing underwriter or underwriters;
• the purchase price of the securities;
• the net proceeds from the sale of the securities;
• any delayed delivery arrangements;
• any underwriting discounts, commissions and other items constituting underwriters' compensation;
• any initial public offering price;
• any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers; and
• any commissions paid to agents.
Sale Through Underwriters or Dealers
If underwriters are used in the sale of our securities, the underwriters will acquire the securities for their own account, including through underwriting, purchase, security lending or repurchase agreements with us. The underwriters may resell the securities from time to time in one or more transactions, including negotiated transactions. Underwriters may sell the securities in order to facilitate transactions in any of our other securities (described in this prospectus or otherwise), including other public or private transactions and short sales. Underwriters may offer securities to the public either through underwriting syndicates represented by one or more managing underwriters or directly by one or more firms acting as underwriters. Unless otherwise indicated in the prospectus supplement, the obligations of the underwriters to purchase the securities will be subject to certain conditions, and the underwriters will be obligated to purchase all the offered securities if they purchase any of them. The underwriters may change from time to time any initial public offering price and any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers.
If dealers are used in the sale of securities offered through this prospectus, we will sell the securities to them as principals. They may then resell those securities to the public at varying prices determined by the dealers at the time of resale. The prospectus supplement will include the names of the dealers and the terms of the transaction.
Direct Sales and Sales Through Agents
We may sell the securities offered through this prospectus directly. In this case, no underwriters, dealers or agents would be involved. The securities may also be sold through agents, legally permitted to act as securities agents, designated from time to time. The prospectus supplement will name any agent involved in the offer or sale of the offered securities and will describe any commissions payable to the agent. Unless otherwise indicated in the prospectus supplement, any agent will agree to use its reasonable best efforts to solicit purchases for the period of its appointment.
We may sell the securities directly to institutional investors or others who may be deemed to be underwriters within the meaning of the Securities Act with respect to any sale of those securities. The terms of any such sales will be described in the prospectus supplement.
Underwriter, Dealer or Agent Discounts and Commissions
Underwriters, dealers or agents may receive compensation in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions from us or our purchasers as their agents in connection with the sale of securities, provided they are legally permitted to receive compensation for transactions in securities. These underwriters, dealers or agents may be considered to be underwriters under the Securities Act. As a result, discounts, commissions, or profits on resale received by the underwriters, dealers or agents may be treated as underwriting discounts and commissions. Each prospectus supplement will identify any such underwriter, dealer or agent, and describe any compensation received by them from us. Any initial public offering price and any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers may be changed from time to time.
The maximum commission or discount to be received by any underwriter, dealer or agent will not be greater than eight percent (8%) of the maximum gross proceeds of the securities that may be sold under this prospectus. In order to pay any commissions or discounts or other fees, the underwriter, dealer or agent will be required to be registered with appropriate agencies and legally permitted to receive a commission, discount or fee in connection with the sale of securities in all relevant jurisdictions.
Delayed Delivery Contracts
If the prospectus supplement indicates, we may authorize agents, underwriters or dealers to solicit offers from certain types of institutions to purchase securities at the public offering price under delayed delivery contracts. These contracts would provide for payment and delivery on a specified date in the future. The contracts would be subject only to those conditions described in the prospectus supplement. The applicable prospectus supplement will describe the commission payable for solicitation of those contracts.
Market Making, Stabilization and Other Transactions
Unless the applicable prospectus supplement states otherwise, each series of offered securities will be a new issue and will have no established trading market. We may elect to list any series of offered securities on an exchange or in another trading medium. Any underwriters or other agents that we use in the sale of offered securities may make a market in such securities, but may discontinue such market making at any time without notice. Therefore, we cannot assure you that the securities will have a liquid trading market.
Any underwriter or dealer may also engage in stabilizing transactions, syndicate covering transactions and penalty bids in accordance with Rule 104 under the Exchange Act. Stabilizing transactions involve bids to purchase the underlying security in the open market for the purpose of pegging, fixing or maintaining the price of the securities. Syndicate covering transactions involve purchases of the securities in the open market after the distribution has been completed in order to cover syndicate short positions.
Penalty bids permit the underwriters and dealers to reclaim a selling concession from a syndicate member when the securities originally sold by the syndicate member are purchased in a syndicate covering transaction to cover syndicate short positions. Stabilizing transactions, syndicate covering transactions and penalty bids may cause the price of the securities to be higher than it would be in the absence of the transactions. The underwriters or dealers may, if they commence these transactions, discontinue them at any time.
Derivative Transactions and Hedging
The underwriters, dealers or other agents may engage in derivative transactions involving the securities. These derivatives may consist of short sale transactions and other hedging activities. The underwriters, dealers or agents may acquire a long or short position in the securities, hold or resell securities acquired and purchase options or futures on the securities and other derivative instruments with returns linked to or related to changes in the price of the securities. In order to facilitate these derivative transactions, we may enter into security lending or repurchase agreements with the underwriters or agents. The underwriters, dealers or agents may effect the derivative transactions through sales of the securities to the public, including short sales, or by lending the securities in order to facilitate short sale transactions by others. The underwriters, dealers or agents may also use the securities purchased or borrowed from us or others (or, in the case of derivatives, securities received from us in settlement of those derivatives) to directly or indirectly settle sales of the securities or close out any related open borrowings of the securities.
Agents, underwriters, and dealers may be entitled, under agreements entered into with us, to indemnification by us against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act.
If the class of securities, or derivative securities based on those securities, that is being sold are listed on an exchange, the company may be required to make an application to the exchange for listing of additional securities, and the issuance may be subject to limitations set forth in the listing rules.
CERTAIN UNITED STATES FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS
The material United States Federal income tax consequences relating to the purchase, ownership and disposition of any of the securities offered by this prospectus will be set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement relating to the offering of those securities. Information about certain tax issues related to owning our securities is set forth in our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 and incorporated by reference herein, which will be amended by subsequently filed Annual Reports on Form 20-F and any prospectus supplement that discusses such matters.
The transfer agent for our ordinary shares is TMX Equity Transfer Services, 200 University Ave., Suite 400, Toronto, ON M5H 4H1 Canada, Tel: 416-607-7926.
The company's registered agent in the British Virgin Islands is FH Corporate Services Ltd., FH Chambers, P.O. Box 4649, Road Town, Tortola, BVI.
Certain legal matters in connection with the securities offered hereby, including the validity of the securities, and British Virgin Islands law will be passed upon for us by Forbes Hare, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Certain legal matters relating to United States law will be passed upon by Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell & Peskoe LLP, New York, New York, United States.
The consolidated financial statements of the Company, appearing in its Form 20-F Annual Report filed with the SEC on August 17, 2020, for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2019 and 2020, have been audited by Marcum LLP, and for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 by Schwartz Levitsky Feldman LLP, each an independent registered public accounting firm, as stated in its report appearing therein. The audited consolidated financial statements are incorporated hereby by reference in reliance upon the report of such firm given upon its authority as experts in accounting and auditing.
ENFORCEABILITY OF CIVIL LIABILITIES
We are incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. There may be perceived disadvantages for investors that accompany incorporation in the British Virgin Islands, which may include the facts that the British Virgin Islands has a less developed body of securities laws as compared to the United States providing significantly less protection to investors.
Our organizational documents do not contain provisions requiring disputes be submitted to arbitration, including those arising under the securities laws of the United States, between us, our officers, directors and shareholders. Therefore, actions in these controversies will have to be heard in formal court forums, which may be more costly and less flexible, and laws, interpretations and precedent may or may not be consistent or available.
An important part of our operations is conducted and a significant portion of our assets is located outside the United States. Some of our directors and officers are nationals or residents of jurisdictions other than the United States, and some or all of their assets are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult or impossible for a shareholder to bring an original action against us or those persons in a British Virgin Islands or other court in the event that a shareholder believes that his or her rights have been infringed under the United States federal securities laws or otherwise. It may also be difficult for a shareholder to enforce in United States courts judgments obtained in United States courts based on the civil liability provisions of the United States federal securities laws against us and our officers and directors, some of whom are not residents of the United States and whose assets are located outside of the United States. In addition, there is uncertainty as to whether the courts of the British Virgin Islands would recognize or enforce judgments of United States courts against us or those persons predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the securities laws of the United States or any state. There is no statutory recognition in the British Virgin Islands of judgments obtained in the United States, although the courts of the British Virgin Islands will generally recognize and enforce a non-penal judgment of a foreign court of competent jurisdiction without retrial on the merits. It is uncertain whether British Virgin Islands courts would be competent to hear original actions brought in the British Virgin Islands against us or those persons predicated upon the securities laws of the United States or any state.
Our corporate affairs are governed by our memorandum and articles and by the Companies Law and common law of the British Virgin Islands. The rights of shareholders to take legal action against our directors and us, actions by minority shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors to us under British Virgin Islands law are to a large extent governed by the common law of the British Virgin Islands and the relevant company law, court procedures and other relevant regulation. The common law of the British Virgin Islands is derived in part from comparatively limited judicial precedent in the British Virgin Islands as well as from English common law, which has persuasive, but not binding, authority on a court in the British Virgin Islands. The rights of our shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors under British Virgin Islands law are not as clearly established as they would be under statutes or judicial precedents in the United States. In particular, the British Virgin Islands has no securities laws as compared to the United States, and provides less protection to investors in many instances. In addition, British Virgin Islands companies may not have standing to initiate a shareholder derivative action before the federal courts of the United States.
As a result of all of the above, our shareholders may have more difficulties in protecting their interests through actions against our management, directors or major shareholders than would shareholders of a corporation incorporated and operating in a jurisdiction in the United States.
Forbes Hare, our counsel as to British Virgin Islands law, have advised us that there is uncertainty as to whether the courts of the British Virgin Islands would:
(i)recognize or enforce judgments of United States courts obtained against us or our directors or officers predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the securities laws of the United States or any state in the United States; or
(ii)entertain original actions brought in each respective jurisdiction against us or our directors or officers predicated upon the securities laws of the United States or any state in the United States.
Forbes Hare, has further advised us that the United States and the British Virgin Islands do not have a treaty providing for reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments of United States courts in civil and commercial matters and that a final judgment for the payment of money rendered by any federal or state court in the United States based on civil liability, whether or not predicated solely upon the United States federal securities laws, would not be automatically enforceable in the British Virgin Islands. We have also been advised that any final and conclusive monetary judgment for a definite sum obtained against the company in United States federal or state courts would be treated by the courts of the British Virgin Islands as a cause of action in itself and sued upon as a debt at common law so that no retrial of the issues would be necessary provided that:
(i)the United States federal or state court had jurisdiction in the matter and the company either submitted to such jurisdiction or was resident or carrying on business within such jurisdiction and was duly served with process;
(ii)the judgment given by the United States federal or state court was not in respect of penalties, taxes, fines or similar fiscal or revenue obligations;
(iii)the judgment was not procured by fraud;
(iv)recognition or enforcement of the judgment in the British Virgin Islands would not be contrary to public policy; and
(v)the proceedings pursuant to which judgment was obtained were not contrary to natural justice.
A British Virgin Islands court may impose civil liability on us or our directors or officers in a suit brought in the courts of the British Virgin Islands against us or these persons with respect to a violation of United States federal securities laws, provided that the facts surrounding any violation constitute or give rise to a cause of action under British Virgin Islands law.
We have appointed Dr. Ian Walters as our agent to receive service of process with respect to any action brought against us in the United States under the federal securities laws of the United States.
PORTAGE BIOTECH INC.
Joint Book-Running Managers
|Cantor||Oppenheimer & Co.|