Category: Private Placement

Private Placement: On August 19, 2013, FINRA published Regulatory Notice 13-26 about the updated Private Placement Form that firms must file with FINRA when acting as a placement agent for the private placement of securities…

Feb092016

SEC Study On Unregistered Offerings

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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In October 2015, the SEC Division of Economic and Risk Analysis issued a white paper study on unregistered securities offerings from 2009 through 2014 (the “Report”). The Report provides insight into what is working in the private placement market and has been on my radar as a blog since its release, but with so many pressing, timely topics to write about, I am only now getting to this one. The SEC Report is only through 2014; however, at the end of this blog, I have provided supplemental information from another source related to PIPE (private placements into public equity) transactions in 2015.

Private offerings are the largest segment of capital formation in the U.S. markets. In 2014 private offerings raised more than $2 trillion. The SEC study used information collected from Form D filings to provide insight into the offering characteristics, including types of issuers, investors and financial intermediaries that participate in offerings.

Dec022014

Private Offering Rule Changes Since JOBS Act

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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As the end of 2014 approaches, I find myself reflecting on the significant successes and failures in the private offering arena since the enactment of the Jumpstart our Business Startups Act (“JOBS Act”) on April 5, 2012.  Some provisions under the JOBS Act became law without further rule-making action on the part of the SEC; others took time to pass; and significantly, Title III Crowdfunding, the most anticipated change in capital market access, has completely stalled.  This blog is a summary of the in-depth detailed blogs I’ve previously written on each of these topics with some added commentary.

506(c) – The Elimination of the Prohibition Against General Solicitation and Advertising in Private Offerings to Accredited Investors; Broker-Dealer Exemption for 506(c) Funding Websites

The enactment of new 506(c) resulting in the elimination of the prohibition against general solicitation and advertising in private offerings to accredited investors has been a slow but sure success.  Trailblazers

Apr082014

Concurrent Public and Private Offerings

Background

Conducting concurrent private and public offerings has historically been very tricky and limited, mainly as a result of the SEC’s position that the filing of an S-1 registration statement and unlimited ability to view such registration statement on the SEC EDGAR database in and of itself acted as a general solicitation and advertisement negating the availability of most private placement exemptions.  In addition to the impediment of finding a private exemption to rely on, concurrent private and public offerings raised concerns of gun jumping by offering securities for sale prior to the filing of a registration statement, as prohibited by Section 5(c) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.  However, with the enactment of the JOBS Act including its Rule 506(c) allowing general solicitation and advertising in an exempt offering, rules allowing the confidential submittal of registration statements for emerging growth companies (EGC) and rules permitting testing the waters communications prior to and after the filing of a

Aug272013

The SEC has Issued Proposed Rules Amending Regulation D, Form D and Rule 156 – Part II

July 10, 2013, the same day the SEC adopted final rules eliminating the prohibition against general solicitation and advertising in Rules 506 and 144A offerings as required by Title II of the JOBS Act, and adopted new rules disqualifying felons and other bad actors from participating in Rule 506 offerings as required by Section 926 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC issued proposed rules further amending Regulation D, Form D and Rule 156.  On August 19, 2013, I published a blog detailing the proposed rule changes

Apr172013

Structuring The Private Placement Or Venture Investment- Pre-Deal Considerations

I recently blogged about how to determine valuation in a start-up or development stage entity for purposes of structuring a prepackaged private placement, or for negotiating the venture capital transaction. I followed that blog with one explaining the various types of financial instruments that can be used for an investment.

Before a company can package a private placement offering or effectively negotiate with a venture or angel investor, it has to have its proverbial house in order. This blog circles back to the beginning discussing pre-deal considerations.

General

In order to successfully attract quality investors, a company must have its financial and legal house in order. I always advise my clients to act as if they are public, even if they never intend to go public. What is meant by that is to maintain proper corporate books and records. Draft and sign minutes of meetings of the board of directors, officers or committees. Keep systems in place to make

Mar282013

Structuring The Private Placement Investment- The Form Of The Investment

I recently blogged about how to determine valuation in a start-up or development stage entity for purposes of structuring a prepackaged private placement, or for negotiating the venture capital transaction.   Determining a valuation is instrumental to answering the overriding questions of what percentage of a company is being sold and at what price. However, once you determine the value, you must determine what financial instrument is being sold, or put another way, what will be the form of the investment.

The world of financial instruments can appear daunting and complicated, and no entity should attempt to structure a private offering or enter into an investment agreement without the advice of competent counsel.  However, an understanding of the basic components of financial instruments will increase the efficiency of counsel and greatly add to the comfort level of all parties involved.  This blog is limited to a discussion of the basic components of financial instruments that would be used to finance

Feb262013

Structuring The Private Placement Investment- Development Stage Or Start Up Company Valuation

The question:

As the economy has been gaining strength, so have the number of entrepreneurs seeking private equity investments through pre-packaged structured private placement offerings, and negotiated venture and angel capital sources.  A question that arises almost daily in my practice is how to determine a valuation for a development stage or start-up venture.  Determining a valuation is instrumental to answering the overriding questions of what percentage of a company is being sold and at what price.

The Answer:

For business entities with operating history, revenue, profit margins and the like, valuation is determined by mathematical calculations and established mathematically based matrixes.  For a development stage or start-up venture, the necessary elements to complete a mathematical analysis simply do not exist.

In the case of a pre-packaged private placement offering for a development stage or start up venture, valuation is an arbitrary guess, a best estimate.  In the case of a negotiated investment with a venture capital or angel

Dec052012

New FINRA Rule 5123 Takes Effect Requiring Notice of Private Placements by Member Firms

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has adopted new Rule 5123 requiring members to file notice of their participation in private placements.  The Rule took effect on December 3rd 2012.  The new rule does not contain a definition of “private placements” and accordingly is presumed to cover all private placements including those involving general solicitation and advertising under the new Rule 506(c) created by the JOBS Act.

Rule 5123 requires member firms to file a copy of the private placement memorandum, term sheet or other disclosure document with FINRA, for all offering in which they sell securities, within 15 calendar days of the first sale.

FINRA enacted the rule in an effort to further police the private placement market and to ensure that members participating in these private offerings conduct sufficient due diligence on the securities and its issuer

In filings with the SEC, FINRA expressed its position that Rule 5123 is consistent with the JOBS Act in

Apr202012

Crowdfunding Timing and Investor Protections

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.

Within 90 days of the signing of the Act (i.e. mid July), the SEC is required to issue enabling rules as to other portions of the Act, including rules related to general solicitation and advertising under Regulation D.  Finally, the SEC has up to 270 days (beginning of 2013) to release rules relating to the new crowdfunding exemption and crowdfunding platform portal regulations.

 

Crowdfunding Has Been Around For Several Years

It seems to many that the JOBS Act appeared, was enacted into law and is zooming forward

Dec092011

Private Capital Marketplace – A First Look

As I discussed in a recent blog, the attraction of the small cap and reverse merger market has diminished greatly in the past two years.  The Over the Counter market has become an expensive place to conduct business; the antithesis of the very reason small companies sought to list there to begin with. Accessing capital markets for microcap companies is not as simple as it once was.

In addition to the added expensive of complying with the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 disclosure requirements, the marketplace invites speculators who short sell (bet that the price of a stock will go down) and hedge with derivatives, often creating unpredictable volatility and share prices not indicative of the underlying value of the actual business.

No Automatic Liquidity for Issuers

Being public is no guarantee of liquidity either. It’s fantastic for an issuer to state that their stock is being quoted at $5.00 per share, but if there is no volume (the shares