Category: Form 10

A Form 10 Registration Statement is a registration statement used to register a class of securities pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”). To explain a Form 10 registration statement, let’s start with what it isn’t. It is not used to register specific securities for sale or re-sale and does not change the transferability of any securities. That is, a Form 10 registration statement does not register a security for the purposes of Section 5[1] of the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) . Following the effectiveness of a Form 10 registration statement, restricted securities remain restricted and free trading securities remain free trading…

Apr152014

Public Company SEC Reporting Requirements

A public company with a class of securities registered under either Section 12 or which is subject to Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”) must file reports with the SEC (“Reporting Requirements”).  The underlying basis of the Reporting Requirements is to keep shareholders and the markets informed on a regular basis in a transparent manner.   Reports filed with the SEC can be viewed by the public on the SEC EDGAR website.  The required reports include an annual Form 10-K, quarterly Form 10Q’s and current periodic Form 8-K as well as proxy reports and certain shareholder and affiliate reporting requirements. 

A company becomes subject to the Reporting Requirements by filing an

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

Feb252014

SEC Proposes Rules for Regulation A+

On December 18, 2013, the SEC published proposed rules to implement Title IV of the JOBS Act, commonly referred to as Regulation A+.  The proposed rules both add the new Section 3(b)(2) (i.e., Regulation A+) provisions and modify the existing Regulation A.  This blog is limited to a discussion of the new Regulation A+.

Background

Title IV of the JOBS Act technically amends Section 3(b) of the Securities Act, which up to now has been a general provision allowing the SEC to fashion exemptions from registration, up to a total offering amount of $5,000,000.  Regulation A is and has historically been an exemption created under the powers afforded the SEC by Section 3(b).

Technically speaking, Regulation D, Rule 504 and 505 offerings and Regulation A offerings are promulgated under Section 3(b), and Rule 506 is promulgated under Section 4(a)(2).  This is important because federal law does not pre-empt state law for Section 3(b) offerings, but it does so for Section

Feb042014

SEC Files Proceedings Against 19 S-1 Companies and Suspends Trading on 255 Shell Companies

A.  S-1 Proceedings

On February 3, 2014, the SEC initiated administrative proceedings against 19 companies that had filed S-1 registration statements.  The 19 registration statements were all filed with an approximate 2-month period around January 2013.  Each of the companies claimed to be an exploration-stage entity in the mining business without known reserves, and each claimed they had not yet begun actual mining.  The 19 entities used the same attorney, who is the subject of a separate SEC action filed in August 2013 alleging involvement in a pump-and-dump scheme.  Each of the entities was incorporated at around the same time using the same registered agent service.  The 19 S-1’s read substantially the same.

Importantly, each of the 19 S-1’s lists a separate officer, director and sole shareholder, and each claims that this person is the sole control person.  The SEC complains that contrary to the representations in the S-1, a separate single individual is the actual control person behind each

Jan282014

DTC Has Published Proposed Rules Related To Chills and Locks

Background

On October 8, 2013, I published a blog and white paper providing background and information on the Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) eligibility, chills and locks and the DTC’s then plans to propose new rules to specify procedures available to Issuers when the DTC imposes or intends to impose chills or locks.   On December 5, 2013, DTC filed these proposed rules with the SEC and on December 18, 2013, the proposed rules were published and public comment invited thereon (“Rule Release”). For background on DTC basics such as eligibility and the evolving procedures in dealing with chills and locks, please see my prior blog here .

The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) is a central securities depository in the U.S. which was originally created as a central holding and clearing system to handle the flow of trading securities and the problems with moving physical certificates among trading parties.  The DTC is regulated by the SEC, the Federal Reserve System and the

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

Oct222013

How to Complete an Unregistered Spin-Off

A spin-off is when a parent company distributes shares of a subsidiary to the parent company’s shareholders such that the subsidiary separates from the parent and is no longer a subsidiary.  The distribution normally takes the form of a dividend by the parent corporation.   In Staff Legal Bulletin No. 4, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) explains how and under what circumstances a spin-off can be completed without the necessity of filing a registration statement.

In particular, the subsidiary shares (the shares distributed to the parent company shareholders) do not need to be registered if the following five conditions are met: (i) the parent shareholders do not provide consideration for the spun-off shares; (ii) the spin-off is pro-rata to the parent shareholders; (iii)

Oct012013

SEC has Modified Policies on Offerings by Shell Companies

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 offerings using an S-1 registration statement and successfully obtained market maker support and a ticker symbol from FINRA and are trading.  As recently as 18 months ago, this was not possible.

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 blank-check company filing such registration statement deposit the securities being offered and proceeds of the offering into

Jul102013

14C Information Statement Requirements for a Pre-Merger Recapitalization

Background on 14C Information Statements

All companies with securities registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, (i.e., through the filing of a Form 10 or Form 8-A) are subject to the Exchange Act proxy requirements found in Section 14 and the rules promulgated thereunder.  The proxy rules govern the disclosure in materials used to solicit shareholders’ votes in annual or special meetings held for the approval of any corporate action requiring shareholder approval.  The information contained in proxy materials must be filed with the SEC in advance of any solicitation to ensure compliance with the disclosure rules.

Solicitations, whether by management or shareholder groups, must disclose all important facts concerning the issues on which shareholders are asked to vote.  The disclosure information filed with the SEC and ultimately provided to the shareholders is enumerated in SEC Schedules 14A.

Where a shareholder vote is not being solicited, such as when a Company has obtained shareholder approval through written

Apr182012

SEC Issues Guidance on Registration and Deregistration Under Jobs Act

On April 5, 2012 President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law.  Some of the rules went into effect immediately, such as the ability of an Emerging Growth Company to file a registration statement and seek confidential treatment during the review process.  For this process the EGC would avail itself of the new Securities Act Section 6(e).  The SEC issued, albeit limited, guidance on this process for EGC’s yesterday, April 10, 2012.

 

SEC Guidance on the JOBS Act

On April 11, 2012, the SEC issued guidance on the JOBS Act amendments to Section 12(g) and Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (Exchange Act).  The full text of this guidance, and the guidance issued on new Section 6(e) is available on the SEC website.

The JOBS Act amends Section 12(g) and Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act as to threshold shareholder requirements and registration and deregistration requirements for banks and bank holding companies.  This blog