Category: Public Shell

Public Shell: 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…

Sep292015

SEC Footnote 32 and Sham S-1 Registration Statements

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

——————————————————————————————————

Over the past several years, many direct public offering (DPO) S-1 registration statements have been filed for either shell or development-stage companies, claiming an intent to pursue and develop a particular business, when in fact, the promoter intends to create a public vehicle to be used for reverse merger transactions.  For purposes of this blog, I will refer to these S-1 registration statements the same way the SEC now does, as “sham registrations.”  I prefer the term “sham registrations” as it better describes the process than the other used industry term of art, “footnote 32 shells.”

Footnote 32 is part of the Securities Offering Reform Act of 2005 (“Securities Offering Reform Act”).  In the final rule release for the Securities Offering Reform Act, the SEC included a footnote (number 32) which states:

“We have become aware of a practice in which the promoter of a company and/or affiliates of the promoter