Gavyn B. Backus 

Gavyn B. Backus

Vancouver
Royal Centre, Suite 1500
1055 West Georgia Street, PO Box 11117
Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 4N7

t: 236.826.3052
e: gavyn.backus@mcmillan.ca

overview

Gavyn is a Capital Markets and M&A lawyer. He advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, ‘going public’ transactions, and corporate finance matters. His practice includes traditional and highly regulated industries, such as clean energy, tech, cannabis, and biotech.

Having gained insight into the financial and legal challenges of clients in the public and private spaces, he leverages his experience into practical solutions for day-to-day securities and commercial matters, including ongoing compliance with Canadian securities and corporate laws, and commercial arrangements. Gavyn also has experience advising on cross-border transactions in and from Canada with emerging markets, specifically in relation to structuring and implementing strategic relationships and providing regulatory guidance for companies operating in the cannabis space.

A graduate of the University of Alberta’s faculty of law, Gavyn summered and articled with McMillan prior to joining the firm as an associate. He holds a law degree from the University of Alberta and prior to law school he obtained a Bachelors of Science (Honours Specialization in Biology) from Western University.

Representative Matters

‘Going Public’ Transactions (IPOs, RTOs, and Qualifying Transactions)

  • Counsel to a Canadian private issuer in connection with its acquisition of an e-gaming and high-performance computing issuer, and subsequent IPO (special warrants offering) and listing on the Canadian Securities Exchange (2019).
  • Counsel to a Canadian private issuer in connection with its acquisition of a licensed California cannabis issuer and subsequent IPO (non-offering prospectus) and listing on the Canadian Securities Exchange (2018).
  • Counsel to a Canadian reporting issuer in connection with its delisting from the TSX Venture Exchange, change of business to become an organic tobacco producer, and listing on the Canadian Securities Exchange (2018).
  • Counsel to various Capital Pool Companies and businesses in completing “qualifying transactions” pursuant to the TSX Venture Exchange CPC program.

Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Aurora Cannabis Inc. in its C$63.4 million acquisition of Hempco Food and Fiber Inc. by way of a plan of arrangement (2019).
  • Aurora Cannabis Inc. in its C$290 million acquisition of ICC Labs Inc. by way of a plan of arrangement (2018).
  • Aurora Cannabis Inc. in its C$1.1 billion successful unsolicited takeover bid for CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. (2017).

Corporate Finance

  • Aurora Cannabis Inc. in its US$750 million mixed shelf offering of equity, debt and convertible securities (2019).
  • Canadian counsel to private blockchain issuer in connection with its Series A financing of debt and equity (2019).
  • Canadian counsel to a technology and e-waste issuer in connection with its C$10,050,000 brokered and non-brokered private placement of units (common shares and warrants) on the Canadian Securities Exchange (2018).

Regulatory Compliance and Corporate Governance

  • Advise public issuers on compliance with continuous disclosure obligations under Canadian securities laws and stock exchange rules.
  • Experience in drafting continuous disclosure documents, including: management information circulars, annual information forms, management discussion and analysis, material change reports and press releases.
  • Advise public and private Canadian cannabis issuers on Canadian cannabis laws.
  • Advise public issuer board of directors and senior management on regulations and corporate governance best practices, including board and committee charters and operating guidelines.

Publications

Regulation of CBD in the United States – Balancing Public Safety and Social Considerations with Industry Expectations and Consumer Demand
How Are CBD Products Regulated Under Canadian Cannabis Law?
North America's GMO-Labeling Policy Patchwork and the Consumer's "Right to Know"

Education

  • University of Alberta, J.D. - 2017
  • Western University, Bachelor of Science (Honours Specialization in Biology) - 2012

Year Of Call

  • Called to the British Columbia bar - 2018

Practices

business law
capital markets
corporate finance
mergers and acquisitions
stock exchange listings
technology
venture capital
corporate governance
negotiated transactions

Industries

cleantech
life sciences
energy
alternatives
renewables
cannabis practice group
startups and emerging companies
food, beverage and agribusiness

Directorships and Professional Associations

  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Vancouver Bar Association

Gavyn is a Capital Markets and M&A lawyer. He advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, ‘going public’ transactions, and corporate finance matters. His practice includes traditional and highly regulated industries, such as clean energy, tech, cannabis, and biotech.

Having gained insight into the financial and legal challenges of clients in the public and private spaces, he leverages his experience into practical solutions for day-to-day securities and commercial matters, including ongoing compliance with Canadian securities and corporate laws, and commercial arrangements. Gavyn also has experience advising on cross-border transactions in and from Canada with emerging markets, specifically in relation to structuring and implementing strategic relationships and providing regulatory guidance for companies operating in the cannabis space.

A graduate of the University of Alberta’s faculty of law, Gavyn summered and articled with McMillan prior to joining the firm as an associate. He holds a law degree from the University of Alberta and prior to law school he obtained a Bachelors of Science (Honours Specialization in Biology) from Western University.

‘Going Public’ Transactions (IPOs, RTOs, and Qualifying Transactions)

  • Counsel to a Canadian private issuer in connection with its acquisition of an e-gaming and high-performance computing issuer, and subsequent IPO (special warrants offering) and listing on the Canadian Securities Exchange (2019).
  • Counsel to a Canadian private issuer in connection with its acquisition of a licensed California cannabis issuer and subsequent IPO (non-offering prospectus) and listing on the Canadian Securities Exchange (2018).
  • Counsel to a Canadian reporting issuer in connection with its delisting from the TSX Venture Exchange, change of business to become an organic tobacco producer, and listing on the Canadian Securities Exchange (2018).
  • Counsel to various Capital Pool Companies and businesses in completing “qualifying transactions” pursuant to the TSX Venture Exchange CPC program.

Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Aurora Cannabis Inc. in its C$63.4 million acquisition of Hempco Food and Fiber Inc. by way of a plan of arrangement (2019).
  • Aurora Cannabis Inc. in its C$290 million acquisition of ICC Labs Inc. by way of a plan of arrangement (2018).
  • Aurora Cannabis Inc. in its C$1.1 billion successful unsolicited takeover bid for CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. (2017).

Corporate Finance

  • Aurora Cannabis Inc. in its US$750 million mixed shelf offering of equity, debt and convertible securities (2019).
  • Canadian counsel to private blockchain issuer in connection with its Series A financing of debt and equity (2019).
  • Canadian counsel to a technology and e-waste issuer in connection with its C$10,050,000 brokered and non-brokered private placement of units (common shares and warrants) on the Canadian Securities Exchange (2018).

Regulatory Compliance and Corporate Governance

  • Advise public issuers on compliance with continuous disclosure obligations under Canadian securities laws and stock exchange rules.
  • Experience in drafting continuous disclosure documents, including: management information circulars, annual information forms, management discussion and analysis, material change reports and press releases.
  • Advise public and private Canadian cannabis issuers on Canadian cannabis laws.
  • Advise public issuer board of directors and senior management on regulations and corporate governance best practices, including board and committee charters and operating guidelines.