Category: Direct Public Offering (DPO)

Direct Public Offering (DPO)- Beginning in 2009, the small-cap and reverse merger, initial public offering (IPO) and direct public offering (DPO) markets diminished greatly. I can identify at least seven main reasons for the downfall of the going public transactions…

Jun302015

Going Public Transactions For Smaller Companies: Direct Public Offering And Reverse Merger

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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Introduction

One of the largest areas of my firms practice involves going public transactions.  I have written extensively on the various going public methods, including IPO/DPOs and reverse mergers.  The topic never loses relevancy, and those considering a transaction always ask about the differences between, and advantages and disadvantages of, both reverse mergers and direct and initial public offerings.  This blog is an updated new edition of past articles on the topic.

Over the past decade the small-cap reverse merger, initial public offering (IPO) and direct public offering (DPO) markets diminished greatly.  The decline was a result of both regulatory changes and economic changes.  In particular, briefly, those reasons were:  (1) the recent Great Recession; (2) backlash from a series of fraud allegations, SEC enforcement actions, and trading suspensions of Chinese companies following reverse mergers; (3) the 2008 Rule 144 amendments, including the prohibition of use of the rule for shell company

Aug122014

Corporate Communications During the Public Offering Process; Avoid Gun Jumping

The public offering process is divided into three periods: (1) the quiet or pre-filing period, (2) the waiting or pre-effective period, and (3) the post-effective period.  Communications made by the company during any of these three periods may, depending on the mode and content, result in violations of Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”).  Communication related violations of Section 5 are often referred to as “gun jumping.”  All forms of communication could create “gun jumping” issues (e.g., press releases, interviews, and use of social media).  “Gun jumping” refers to written or oral offers of securities made before the filing of the registration statement and written offers made after the filing of the registration statement other than by means of a prospectus that meet the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act, a free writing prospectus or a communication falling within one of the several safe harbors from the gun-jumping provisions.

Section 5(a) of

Jul292014

Direct Public Offerings by Shell Companies- Tread Carefully

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As I’ve written about previously, recently (albeit not officially) the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has materially altered its position on offerings by shell companies that are not blank check companies.  In particular, over the past year, numerous shell companies that are not also blank check companies have completed direct public offerings using a S-1 registration statement and successfully obtained market maker support and a ticker symbol from FINRA and are trading.

Rule 419 and Blank Check Companies

The provisions of Rule 419 apply to every registration statement filed under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, by a blank check company.  Rule 419 requires that the

Mar182014

Guide to Reverse Merger Transaction

What is a reverse merger?  What is the process?

A reverse merger is the most common alternative to an initial public offering (IPO) or direct public offering (DPO) for a company seeking to go public.  A “reverse merger” allows a privately held company to go public by acquiring a controlling interest in, and merging with, a public operating or public shell company.  The SEC defines a “shell company” as a publically traded company with (1) no or nominal operations and (2) either no or nominal assets or assets consisting solely of any amount of cash and cash equivalents.

In a reverse merger process, the private operating company shareholders exchange their shares of the private company for either new or existing shares of the public company so that

Jan212014

Direct Public Offering or Reverse Merger; Know Your Best Option for Going Public

Introduction

For at least the last twelve months, I have received calls daily from companies wanting to go public.  This interest in going public transactions signifies a big change from the few years prior.

Beginning in 2009, the small-cap and reverse merger, initial public offering (IPO) and direct public offering (DPO) markets diminished greatly.  I can identify at least seven main reasons for the downfall of the going public transactions.  Briefly, those reasons are:  (1) the general state of the economy, plainly stated, was not good; (2) backlash from a series of fraud allegations, SEC enforcement actions, and trading suspensions of Chinese companies following reverse mergers; (3) the 2008 Rule 144 amendments including the prohibition of use of the rule for shell company and former shell company shareholders; (4) problems clearing penny stock with broker dealers and FINRA’s enforcement of broker-dealer and clearing house due diligence requirements related to penny stocks; (5) DTC scrutiny and difficulty in obtaining clearance following

Jan072014

The DPO Process Including Form S-1 Registration Statement Requirements

One of the methods of going public is directly through a public offering.  In today’s financial environment, many Issuers are choosing to self-underwrite their public offerings, commonly referred to as a Direct Public Offering (DPO).  Management of companies considering a going public transaction have a desire to understand the required disclosures and content of a registration statement.  This blog provides that information.

Pursuant to Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”), it is unlawful to “offer” or “sell” securities without a valid effective registration statement unless an exemption is available.  Companies desiring to offer and sell securities to the public with the intention of creating a public market or going public must file with the SEC and provide prospective investors with a registration statement containing all material information concerning the company and the securities offered.  Currently all domestic Issuers must use either form S-1 or S-3.  Form S-3 is limited to larger filers with

Aug212012

Crowdfunding Direct Public Offerings

Background:

As a reminder, on April 5, 2012 President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law. Part of the JOBS Act is the Crowdfunding Act, the full title of which is the “Capital Raising Online While Deterring Fraud and Unethical Non-Disclosure Act of 2012”. The Crowdfunding Act creates a new exemption to the registration requirements under a newly designated Section 4(6) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.  Although the Crowdfunding Act is, by definition, an exemption from the registration requirements and therefore a new form of private placement, innovative and forward thinking minds have already come up with a method of utilizing the crowdfunding methodology for a public, registered offering.

What is a crowdfunding registered offering:

A crowdfunding registered offering is a combination of direct public offering (DPO) and initial public offering (IPO).  As I have blogged about in the past, a DPO is like an IPO except the Issuing Company does not use an underwriter to

Aug052010

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs)

A SPAC is a company organized to purchase one or more operating businesses and which generally intends to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO), direct public offering (DPO) or private offering.

IPO’s, DPO’s and Rule 419

SPAC’s that engage in either an IPO or DPO are subject to Rule 419 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. The provisions of Rule 419 apply to every registration statement filed under the Securities Act of 1933, by a blank check company.  Rule 419 requires that the blank check company filing such registration statement deposit the securities being offered and proceeds of the offering, less reasonable offering expenses, into an escrow or trust account pending the execution of an agreement for an acquisition or merger.  In addition, the registrant is required to file a post effective amendment to the registration statement containing the same information as found in a Form 10 registration statement, upon the execution of an agreement for

Jun162010

Direct Public Offerings And The Internet

In today’s financial environment, many Issuers are choosing to self underwrite their public offerings, commonly referred to as a Direct Public Offering (DPO). Moreover, as almost all potential investors have computers, many Issuers are choosing to utilize the Internet for such DPO’s. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published rules for utilizing the Internet for an offering.

To comply with the SEC rules for electronic use, an Issuer must comply with the following minimum rules, among others:

  • An electronic prospectus must provide the same information as a paper written prospectus;
  • The Investor must elect to receive electronic delivery of the prospectus and must be provided with personal access codes to access electronic materials over the Internet;
  • The Investor must pre-qualify to receive the offering materials (such as being in a particular state, being accredited, etc.) prior to receiving access codes;
  • The Investor must be immediately notified of any amendments or changes in the offering documents; and
  • The Issuer must
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Oct172009

Necessity of Background Searches on Officers and Directors as Part of Due Diligence Prior to a Reverse Merger or IPO

If you are a private company looking to go public on the OTCBB, securities attorney Laura Anthony provides expert legal advice and ongoing corporate counsel. Ms. Anthony counsels private and small public companies nationwide regarding reverse mergers, corporate transactions and all aspects of securities law.

Many private companies go public either through a reverse merger with a public shell or initial public offering (IPO) process. A reverse merger allows a private company to go public by purchasing a controlling percentage of shares of a public shell company and merging the private company into the shell. An initial public offering is where the private company files a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and once the registration statement is effective proceeds to sell stock either directly (a DPO) or more commonly through an underwriter.

It is very important that management of public shells and underwriters conduct a background check on the private company’s officers and directors prior to embarking