Category: Form 8-K

Form 8-K: Recently the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has been taking action against public reporting companies for the failure to file a Form 8-K upon the completion of a transaction exempt under Section 3(a)(10) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”). The SEC has served a Wells notice on numerous companies for the failure to file such Form 8-K without any prior communication with such companies. Since enforcement actions for the failure to file a Form 8-K are very rare, it is my view that the SEC is concerned with the 3(a)(10) transaction itself…

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

Nov052013

Mergers and Acquisitions; Merger Documents Outlined

An Outline Of the Transaction

The Confidentiality Agreement

Generally the first step in an M&A deal is executing a confidentiality agreement and letter of intent.  These documents can be combined or separate.  If the parties are exchanging information prior to reaching the letter of intent stage of a potential transaction, a confidentiality agreement should be executed first.

In addition to requiring that both parties keep information confidential, a confidentiality agreement sets forth important parameters on the use of information.  For instance, a reporting entity may have disclosure obligations in association with the initial negotiations for a transaction, which would need to be exempted from the confidentiality provisions.  Moreover, a confidentiality agreement may contain other provisions unrelated to confidentiality such as a prohibition against

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

May032013

SEC Guidance On Social Media And Websites For Company Announcements And Communications- Part II

On April 2, 2013, in response to a Facebook post made by Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a report confirming that companies can use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to make company announcements in compliance with Regulation Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD) as long as investors are alerted as to which social media outlet is being used by the company.  In the report the SEC stated that previously published guidance on the use of Company websites was applicable to the use of social media.  Accordingly, in a series of blogs I am reviewing the SEC guidance on the use of company websites.  This blog is Part II in the series.

Background

Regulation FD requires that companies take steps to ensure that material information is disclosed to the general public in a fair and fully accessible manner such that the public as a whole has simultaneous access to the information.  Regulation FD ended the

Apr252013

SEC Guidance On Social Media And Websites For Company Announcements And Communications- Part I

On April 2, 2013, the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a report confirming that companies can use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to make company announcements in compliance with Regulation Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD) as long as investors are alerted as to which social media outlet is being used by the company.  The report was issued following an investigation into a Facebook posting made by Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix.  In the report the SEC stated that previously published guidance on the use of Company websites was applicable to the use of social media.  Accordingly, a review of the SEC guidance on the use of company websites is in order.

Background

Regulation FD requires that companies take steps to ensure that material information is disclosed to the general public in a fair and fully accessible manner such that the public as a whole has simultaneous access to the information.  Regulation FD is designed to ensure that

Apr102013

SEC Clears Social Media As An Acceptable Form For Company Announcements

On April 2, 2013, the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a report confirming that companies can use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to make company announcements in compliance with Regulation Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD) as long as investors are alerted as to which social media outlet is being used by the company.  The report was issued following an investigation into a Facebook posting made by Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix.  The SEC declined to pursue an enforcement action against Mr. Hastings.

Regulation FD requires that companies take steps to ensure that material information is disclosed to the general public in a fair and fully accessible manner such that the public as a whole has simultaneous access to the information.  Regulation FD is designed to ensure that all investors are on an even playing field in terms of access to material information.  Regulation FD ended the era of invitation-only conference calls between company management and a select group

Jun042012

The JOBS Act IPO On-Ramp

I’ve written extensively on the Crowdfunding Act, or Title III of the Jobs Act, and much less extensively on the other five titles of the Act.  Today’s blog will focus on Title I of the Jobs Act – Reopening American Capital Markets to Emerging Growth Companies.  Several industry types have been referring to Title I as the IPO On Ramp and so will I.

The Jobs Act

The JOBS Act created a new category of companies defined as “Emerging Growth Companies” (EGC).  An EGC is defined as a company with annual gross revenues of less than $1 billion that first sells equity in a registered offering after December 8, 2011.  In addition, an EGC loses its EGC status on the earlier of (i) the last day of the fiscal year in which it exceeds $1 billion in revenues; (ii) the last day of the fiscal year following the fifth year after its IPO; (iii) the date on which it

Mar192010

Form 10 Registration Statements

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.

The Purpose of Form 10 Registration Statements

Now onto what a Form 10 registration is. As indicated above a Form 10 registration statement is used to register a class of securities. Any Company with in excess of $10,000,000 in total assets and 750 or more record shareholders