Category: Reverse Mergers

Reverse Mergers: A reverse merger is often structured as a reverse triangular merger. In that case, the acquiring company forms a new subsidiary which merges with the…

Jun142016

NYSE MKT Listing Requirements

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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This blog is the second in a two-part series explaining the listing requirements for the two small-cap national exchanges, NASDAQ and the NYSE MKT.  The first one, discussing NASDAQ, can be read HERE.

General Information and Background on NYSE MKT

The NYSE MKT is the small- and micro-cap exchange level of the NYSE suite of marketplaces.  The NYSE MKT was formerly the separate American Stock Exchange (AMEX).  In 2008, the NYSE Euronext purchased the AMEX and in 2009 renamed the exchange the NYSE Amex Equities.  In 2012 the exchange was renamed to the current NYSE MKT LLC.  The NASDAQ and NYSE MKT are ultimately business operations vying for attention and competing to attract the best publicly traded companies and investor following.  The NYSE MKT homepage touts the benefits of choosing this exchange over others, including “access to dedicated funding, advocacy, content and networking and the industry’s first small-cap services package.”

Although there

Oct202015

Mergers And Acquisitions – The Merger Transaction

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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Although I have written about document requirements in a merger transaction previously, with the recent booming M&A marketplace, it is worth revisiting.  This blog only addresses friendly negotiated transactions achieved through share exchange or merger agreements.  It does not address hostile takeovers.  

A merger transaction can be structured as a straight acquisition with the acquiring company remaining in control, a reverse merger or a reverse triangular merger.  In a reverse merger process, the target company shareholders exchange their shares for either new or existing shares of the public company so that at the end of the transaction, the shareholders of the target company own a majority of the acquiring public company and the target company has become a wholly owned subsidiary of the public company.  The public company assumes the operations of the target company.    

A reverse merger is often structured as a reverse triangular merger.  In that case, the acquiring company forms

Oct062015

Mergers And Acquisitions: Board of Director Responsibilities

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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I have written about mergers and acquisitions, including reverse mergers, extensively in the past, but as both traditional mergers and acquisitions and reverse mergers are a large part of my practice, it is a topic worth revisiting and drilling down on regularly.  In fact over the past year, the M&A market has been booming with activity.  A question that often arises involves the obligations of the board of directors during the merger process. 

Board of Directors’ Fiduciary Duties in the Merger Process

State corporate law generally provides that the business and affairs of a corporation shall be managed under the direction of its board of directors.  Members of the board of directors have a fiduciary relationship to the corporation, which requires that they act in the best interest of the corporation, as opposed to their own.  Generally a court will not second-guess directors’ decisions as long as the board has conducted an

Sep292015

SEC Footnote 32 and Sham S-1 Registration Statements

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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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

Jun302015

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

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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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

Mar182014

Guide to Reverse Merger Transaction

What is a reverse merger?  What is the process?

A reverse merger is the most common alternative to an initial public offering (IPO) or direct public offering (DPO) for a company seeking to go public.  A “reverse merger” allows a privately held company to go public by acquiring a controlling interest in, and merging with, a public operating or public shell company.  The SEC defines a “shell company” as a publically traded company with (1) no or nominal operations and (2) either no or nominal assets or assets consisting solely of any amount of cash and cash equivalents.

In a reverse merger process, the private operating company shareholders exchange their shares of the private company for either new or existing shares of the public company so that

Jan212014

Direct Public Offering or Reverse Merger; Know Your Best Option for Going Public

Introduction

For at least the last twelve months, I have received calls daily from companies wanting to go public.  This interest in going public transactions signifies a big change from the few years prior.

Beginning in 2009, the small-cap and reverse merger, initial public offering (IPO) and direct public offering (DPO) markets diminished greatly.  I can identify at least seven main reasons for the downfall of the going public transactions.  Briefly, those reasons are:  (1) the general state of the economy, plainly stated, was not good; (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 and former shell company shareholders; (4) problems clearing penny stock with broker dealers and FINRA’s enforcement of broker-dealer and clearing house due diligence requirements related to penny stocks; (5) DTC scrutiny and difficulty in obtaining clearance following

Jul102013

14C Information Statement Requirements for a Pre-Merger Recapitalization

Background on 14C Information Statements

All companies with securities registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, (i.e., through the filing of a Form 10 or Form 8-A) are subject to the Exchange Act proxy requirements found in Section 14 and the rules promulgated thereunder.  The proxy rules govern the disclosure in materials used to solicit shareholders’ votes in annual or special meetings held for the approval of any corporate action requiring shareholder approval.  The information contained in proxy materials must be filed with the SEC in advance of any solicitation to ensure compliance with the disclosure rules.

Solicitations, whether by management or shareholder groups, must disclose all important facts concerning the issues on which shareholders are asked to vote.  The disclosure information filed with the SEC and ultimately provided to the shareholders is enumerated in SEC Schedules 14A.

Where a shareholder vote is not being solicited, such as when a Company has obtained shareholder approval through written

Jul022013

Section 3(a)(10) Debt Conversions in a Shell Company Pre-Reverse Merger

Section 3(a) (10) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”) is an exemption from the Securities Act registration requirements for the offers and sales of securities by Issuers.  The exemption provides that “Except with respect to a security exchanged in a case under title 11 of the United States Code, any security which is issued in exchange for one or more bona fide outstanding securities, claims or property interests, or partly in such exchange and partly for cash, where the terms and conditions of such issuance and exchange are approved, after a hearing upon the fairness of such terms and conditions at which all persons to whom it is proposed to issue securities in such exchange shall have the right to appear, by any court, or by any official or agency of the United States, or by any State or Territorial banking or insurance commission or other governmental authority expressly authorized by law to grant such

May212013

An Overview of Exemptions for Hedge Fund Advisors: Exemptions for Advisors to Venture Capital Funds, Private Fund Advisers with Less Than $150 Million in Assets Under Management, and Foreign Private Advisers – Part II

As the delayed JOBS Act rule changes become imminent, our firm has noticed a spike in inquiries related to small hedge funds and feeder funds.The JOBS Act is not the only recent congressional act to change the landscape of hedge funds; the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) made significant changes as well.

In particular, the Dodd-Frank Act eliminated the oft relied upon exemption from registration for private hedge fund advisors for those advisors with fewer than 15 clients.While eliminating the private advisor exemption, Dodd-Frank created three new exemptions, which are the operable hedge fund advisor exemptions today.These exemptions are for:

(1) Advisors solely to venture capital funds;

(2) Advisors solely to private funds with less than $150 million in assets under management in the U.S.; and

(3) Certain foreign advisers without a place of business in the U.S.

Moreover, the Dodd-Frank Private Fund Investment Advisers Registration Act of 2010 (the “Advisers Act“) imposed