Category: IPO

IPO: Initial Public Offerings (IPO’s) are on the rise once again. I have potential clients calling me daily interested in going public through an IPO, most have little or no prior knowledge of the public company arena – so back to basics. An IPO is an initial public offering of securities. Prior to proceeding with an IPO, an Issuer should consider the advantages, disadvantages and alternatives…

May312016

OTC Markets Amends IPO Listing Standards for OTCQX

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

——————————————————————————————————

OTC Markets has unveiled changes to the quotations rule and standards for the OTCQX, which proposed changes are scheduled to become effective on June 13, 2016.  The proposed amendments are intended to address and accommodate companies completing an IPO onto the OTCQX and which accordingly have no prior trading history.  Such entities either would have a recently cleared Form 211 with FINRA or are completing the 211 application process through a market maker, at the time of their OTCQX application.  The initial qualification changes apply to OTCQX Rules for U.S. Companies, U.S. Banks and International Companies.

The OTCQX previously amended its listing standards effective January 1, 2016 to increase the quantitative criteria for listing and to add additional qualitative requirements further aligning the OTCQX with a national stock exchange.  To read my blog on the January 1, 2016 amendments see HERE.

The new amendments will (i) allow companies that meet the $5

Dec152015

The Fast Act (Fixing American’s Surface Transportation Act)

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

——————————————————————————————————

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed the Fixing American’s Surface Transportation Act (the “FAST Act”) into law, which included many capital markets/securities-related bills. The FAST Act is being dubbed the JOBS Act 2.0 by many industry insiders. The FAST Act has an aggressive rulemaking timetable and some of its provisions became effective immediately upon signing the bill into law on December 4, 2015.

In July 2015, the Improving Access to Capital for Emerging Growth Companies Act (the “Improving EGC Act”) was approved by the House and referred to the Senate for further action. Since that time, this Act was bundled with several other securities-related bills into a transportation bill (really!) – i.e., the FAST Act.

In addition to the Improving EGC Act, the FAST Act incorporated the following securities-related acts: (i) the Disclosure Modernization and Simplifications Act (see my blog HERE ); (ii) the SBIC Advisers Relief Act; (iii) the Reforming Access

Jun302015

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

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

——————————————————————————————————

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

May052015

SEC Advisory Committee On Small And Emerging Companies Explores Venture Exchanges, Private And Secondary Securities Trading and The NASAA Coordinated Review Program- Part I

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

——————————————————————————————————

The SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies (the “Advisory Committee”) was organized by the SEC to provide advice on SEC rules, regulations and policies regarding “its mission of protecting investors, maintaining fair, orderly and efficient markets and facilitating capital formation” as related to “(i) capital raising by emerging privately held small businesses and publicly traded companies with less than $250 million in public market capitalization; (ii) trading in the securities of such businesses and companies; and (iii) public reporting and corporate governance requirements to which such businesses and companies are subject.”

As previously written about, on March 4, 2015, the committee met and finalized its recommendation to the SEC regarding the definition of “accredited investor.”  My blog on those recommendations can be read HERE.  In addition to finalizing the accredited investor definition recommendation, at the March 4 meeting the Advisory Committee listened to presentations regarding and discussed several important and

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

Nov142012

COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF TITLE I OF THE JOBS ACT AS RELATED TO EMERGING GROWTH COMPANIES

On April 5, 2012, President Obama signed the Jumpstart our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) into law.  The JOBS Act was passed on a bipartisan basis by overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate.  The Act seeks to remove impediments to raising capital for emerging growth public companies by relaxing disclosure, governance and accounting requirements, easing the restrictions on analyst communications and analyst participation in the public offering process, and permitting companies to “test the waters” for public offerings.   The following is an in-depth review of Title I of the JOBS Act related to Emerging Growth Companies.

Introduction – What is an Emerging Growth Company?

The JOBS Act created a new category of company: an “Emerging Growth Company” (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

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

Jul242012

Q2 By The Numbers – An Analysis of Market

First, I’d like to give credit to The DealFlow Report which was my initial source for the numerical factual information in this blog.

 

The Numbers and Facts

Q2 reflects the uncertainty that goes along with an election year and the concerns over tax increases (or decreases) that go along with election years.  There also remains the ongoing worry over European markets.  In short, it is a time of change and uncertainty.  Moreover, according to Adam Lyon, a managing director and co-head of private capital at Conaccord Genuity, the small cap financing market, “is probably in for the usual seasonal fluctuations: a tough summer followed by a pick-up in late August and September.”  I note that my law firm has seen this trend consistently for the past decade.

According to data from Dealogic, the number of IPO’s dropped by 41.4% in Q2, however, mainly as a result of the facebook IPO, the dollar value of those IPO’s rose by 56.4%. 

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

Apr162012

Crowdfunding 101

As I recently blogged, the President has signed the Jobs Act including the much anticipated Crowdfunding bill.  Crowdfunding is a process whereby companies will be able to raise small amounts of money either directly off their own website or using intermediaries set up for the purpose.  The Securities Act of 1933, as amended, (Securities Act) prohibits the sale or delivery of any security unless such security is either registered or exempt from registration.  Crowdfunding will be an exemption from registration.  The exemption will likely be codified as a new and separate exemption likely under Regulation D and will include an overhaul of the current general provisions of Regulation D found in Rules 501-503.

Crowdfunding Exemption Possibilities

 

The exemption will likely be limited to $1 million in any twelve (12) month period, or up to $2 million if the company provides certain financial disclosure such as audited financial statements.  As proposed, each investor will be limited $10,000 or 10%