Category: Regulation S-K

Regulation S-K: On March 6, 2015, the Federal Regulation of Securities Committee (“Committee”) of the American Bar Association (“ABA”) submitted its second comment letter to the SEC making recommendations for changes to Regulation S-K…

Nov182014

Risk Factor Disclosures For Reporting Public Companies 

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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 A risk factor disclosure involves a discussion of circumstances, trends, or issues that may affect a company’s business, prospects, operating results, or financial condition.  Risk factors must be disclosed in registration statements under the Securities Act and registration statements and reports under the Exchange Act.  In addition, risk factors must be included in private offering documents where the exemption relied upon requires the delivery of a disclosure document, and is highly recommended even when such disclosure is not statutorily required.

The Importance of Risk Factors

Risk factors are one of the most often commented on sections of a registration statement.  The careful crafting of pertinent risk factors can provide leeway for more robust discussion on business plans and future operations, and can satisfy a wide arrange of SEC concerns regarding existing financial and non-financial matters (such as potential default provisions in debt, dilution matters, inadvertent rule violations, etc.).

Although smaller reporting companies are

Sep022014

Public Company and Affiliate Stock Buyback Rules; Rule 10b-18

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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The SEC allows for limited methods that an issuer can utilize to show confidence in its own stock and assist in maintaining or increasing its stock price.  One of those methods is Rule 10b-18 promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”).  Exchange Act Rule 10b-18 provides issuers with a non-exclusive safe harbor from liability for market manipulation under Sections 9(a)(2) and 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 under the Exchange Act when issuers bid for or repurchase their common stock in the open market in accordance with the Rule’s manner, timing, price and volume conditions.  Each of the four main conditions of Rule 10b-18 must be satisfied on each day that a repurchase is made.

Sections 9 and 10 of the Exchange Act are the general anti-fraud and anti-manipulation provisions under the Act.  Section 9(a)(2) of the Exchange Act makes it unlawful for any person to, directly or indirectly, create

Jan072014

The DPO Process Including Form S-1 Registration Statement Requirements

One of the methods of going public is directly through a public offering.  In today’s financial environment, many Issuers are choosing to self-underwrite their public offerings, commonly referred to as a Direct Public Offering (DPO).  Management of companies considering a going public transaction have a desire to understand the required disclosures and content of a registration statement.  This blog provides that information.

Pursuant to Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”), it is unlawful to “offer” or “sell” securities without a valid effective registration statement unless an exemption is available.  Companies desiring to offer and sell securities to the public with the intention of creating a public market or going public must file with the SEC and provide prospective investors with a registration statement containing all material information concerning the company and the securities offered.  Currently all domestic Issuers must use either form S-1 or S-3.  Form S-3 is limited to larger filers with

Jun252013

SEC Announces it Will Seek an Admission of Fault to Settle Certain Cases

On June 18, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a policy change related to its settlement of certain civil matters.  In particular, the SEC has stated that it will now require that the settling party admit wrongdoing as part of a settlement.  Previously the standard language for all settlements has been that the defendants “neither admit nor deny wrongdoing.”  Defendants, of course, cannot be required to make such an admission or settle a case, but the alternative is fighting it out in court, an expensive and risky process.

The change in policy began with a related change in which the SEC changed its policy to require admissions of wrongdoing to settle cases where the defendant had already admitted such wrongdoing in related criminal cases.  Mary Jo White has now announced that, even in cases where there is no parallel criminal case, the SEC will now require individuals and companies to admit liability in “cases where… it’s very important to

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

Oct172009

Necessity of Background Searches on Officers and Directors as Part of Due Diligence Prior to a Reverse Merger or IPO

If you are a private company looking to go public on the OTCBB, securities attorney Laura Anthony provides expert legal advice and ongoing corporate counsel. Ms. Anthony counsels private and small public companies nationwide regarding reverse mergers, corporate transactions and all aspects of securities law.

Many private companies go public either through a reverse merger with a public shell or initial public offering (IPO) process. A reverse merger allows a private company to go public by purchasing a controlling percentage of shares of a public shell company and merging the private company into the shell. An initial public offering is where the private company files a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and once the registration statement is effective proceeds to sell stock either directly (a DPO) or more commonly through an underwriter.

It is very important that management of public shells and underwriters conduct a background check on the private company’s officers and directors prior to embarking