Past version: effective up to 31/12/2021
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(1) it has a reasonable basis for making the statements required by rule 14A.45; and
(2) without limiting the generality of paragraph (1) above, there is no reason to believe any of the following information is not true or omits a material fact:
(a) any information relied on by the independent financial adviser in forming its opinion; or
(b) any information relied on by any third party expert on whose opinion or advice the independent financial adviser relies in forming its opinion.
1. For the purposes of this rule, the Exchange expects that the reasonable steps an independent financial adviser will typically perform will include the following:
(a) obtaining all information and documents of the issuer relevant to an assessment of the fairness and reasonableness of the terms of the transaction, for example, if the transaction involves the purchase or sale of products or services, information and documents showing the prices at which the issuer buys and sells such products and services to independent third parties;
(b) researching the relevant market and other conditions and trends relevant to the pricing of the transaction;
(c) reviewing the fairness, reasonableness and completeness of any assumptions or projections relevant to the transaction;
(d) without limiting the generality of paragraph (c) above, in relation to any third party expert providing an opinion or valuation relevant to the transaction:
(i) interviewing the expert including as to its expertise and any current or prior relationships with the issuer, other parties to the transaction, and core connected persons of either the issuer or another party to the transaction;
(ii) reviewing the terms of engagement (having particular regard to the scope of work, whether the scope of work is appropriate to the opinion required to be given and any limitations on the scope of work which might adversely impact on the degree of assurance given by the expert's report, opinion or statement); and
(iii) where the independent financial adviser is aware the issuer or another party to the transaction has made formal or informal representations to the expert, assessing whether the representations are in accordance with the independent financial adviser's knowledge; and
(e) if there have been any relevant alternative offers made (for example, offers made recently for the same asset), then reviewing and assessing such alternative offers and the reasons given, if any, by the management for rejecting these offers.
2. The Exchange expects the independent financial adviser will ensure the letter referred to at rule 14A.45 takes account of the following principles:
(a) the source for any fact which is material to an argument should be clearly stated, including sufficient detail to enable the significance of the fact to be assessed; however, if the fact has been included in a document recently sent to shareholders, an appropriate cross reference may instead be made;
(b) a quotation (for example, from a newspaper or a stockbroker circular) should not be used out of context and details of the origin should be included. Since quotations will necessarily carry the implication that they are endorsed by the independent financial adviser, quotations should not be used unless the independent financial adviser has corroborated or substantiated them;
(c) pictorial representations, charts, graphs and diagrams should be presented without distortion and, when relevant, should be to scale; and
(d) any comparables referred to in a document must be a fair and representative sample. The bases for compiling such comparables must be clearly stated in the document.