Category: Rule 144A

Rule 144A: In a historic 4-1 vote on July 10, 2013, the SEC has adopted final rules eliminating the prohibition against general solicitation and advertising in Rules 506 and 144A offerings…

Jan312017

SEC Issues New C&DI On Abbreviated Debt Tender And Debt Exchange Offers

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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The SEC has been issuing a slew of new Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (“C&DI”) on numerous topics in the past few months. On November 18, 2016, the SEC issued seven new C&DI providing guidance on tender offers in general as well as on abbreviated debt tender and debt exchange offers, known as the Five-Day Tender Offer. The guidance related to the Five-Day Tender Offer clarifies a previously issued January 2015 no-action letter on the subject. As I have not written on the subject of tender offers previously, I include a very high-level summary of tender offers in general and together with specific discussion on the new C&DI.

What Is a Tender Offer?

A tender offer is not statutorily defined, but from a high level is a broad solicitation made by a company or a third party to purchase a substantial portion of the outstanding debt or equity of a company. A tender

Sep012015

SEC Issues Guidance On General Solicitation And Advertising In Regulation D Offerings

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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Effective September, 2013, 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.  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 such as realtymogul.com, circleup.com, wefunder.com and seedinvest.com proved that the model can work, and the rest of the capital marketplace has taken notice.  Recently, more established broker-dealers have begun their foray into the 506(c) marketplace with accredited investor-only crowdfunding websites accompanied by marketing and solicitation to draw investors.

The historical Rule 506 was renumbered to Rule 506(b) and issuers have the option of completing offerings under either Rule 506(b) or 506(c).  Rule 506(b) allows offers and sales to an unlimited number of accredited investors and up to 35 unaccredited investors,

Jun232015

The Section 4(a)(1) And 4(a)(1½) Exemption; Recommendations For An Amendment To Rule 144 Related To Shell Companies

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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What are the Section 4(a)(1) and Section 4(a)(1½) exemptions, and how do they work?

Section 4(a)(1) of the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) provides an exemption for a transaction “by a person other than an issuer, underwriter, or dealer.”  Rule 144 provides a non-exclusive safe harbor for the sale of securities under Section 4(a)(1). In the event that Rule 144 is unavailable, a holder of securities may still rely upon Section 4(a)(1).  Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act provides an exemption for sales by the issuer not involving a public offering.  The issuer itself may not rely on Section 4(a)(1), and selling security holders may not rely on Section 4(a)(2).

Case law and the SEC unilaterally conclude that an affiliate (officer, director or greater than 10% shareholder) of the issuer may not rely on Section 4(a)(1) for the resale of securities.  In particular, an affiliate is presumptively deemed an underwriter unless such

Dec232014

Will the Disclosure Modernization and Simplification Act of 2014 Simplify Reporting Requirements for ECG’s and Smaller Reporting Companies?

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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In early December the House passed the Disclosure Modernization and Simplification Act of 2014, which will now go to the Senate for action—or inaction, as the case may be.

The bill joins a string of legislative and political pressure on the SEC to review and modernize Regulation S-K to eliminate burdensome, unnecessary disclosure with the dual purpose of reducing the costs to the disclosing issuer and ensure readable, material information for the investing public.

The Disclosure Modernization and Simplification Act of 2014, if passed, would require the SEC to adopt or amend rules to: (i) allow issuers to include a summary page to Form 10-K; and (ii) scale or eliminate duplicative, antiquated or unnecessary requirements in Regulation S-K.  In addition, the SEC would be required to conduct yet another study on all Regulation S-K disclosure requirements to determine how best to amend and modernize the rules to reduce costs and burdens while

May132014

Once Again, DTC Amends Proposed Procedures for Issuers Affected by Chills and Proposes Subsequent Rule Change

Background

On October 8, 2013, I published a blog and white paper providing background and information on the Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) eligibility, chills and locks and the DTC’s then plans to propose new rules to specify procedures available to issuers when the DTC imposes or intends to impose chills or locks. On December 5, 2013, the DTC filed these proposed rules with the SEC and on December 18, 2013, the proposed rules were published and public comment invited thereon.  Following the receipt of comments on February 10, 2014, and again on March 10, 2014, the DTC amended its proposed rule changes.  This blog discusses those rule changes and the current status of the proposed rules.

The new rules provide significantly more clarity as to the rights of the DTC and issuers and the timing of the process.  For a complete discussion on background and DTC basics such as eligibility and the evolving procedures in dealing with chills and locks,

Feb112014

A Basic Overview of Rule 144

 The Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) Rule 144 sets forth certain requirements for the use of Section 4(1) for the resale of securities.  Section 4(1) of the Securities Act provides an exemption for a transaction “by a person other than an issuer, underwriter, or dealer.” The terms “Issuer” and “dealer” have pretty straightforward meanings under the Securities Act, but the term “underwriter” does not.  Rule 144 provides a safe harbor from the definition of “underwriter.”  If all the requirements for Rule 144 are met, the seller will not be deemed an underwriter and the purchaser will receive unrestricted securities.

Although not set out in the statute, all transfer agents and Issuers, along with most clearing and brokerage firms, require an opinion of

Sep242013

An Overview of Regulation S – The Offshore Offering Exclusion

As I’ve repeated many times in blogs in the past, all offers, offers to sell, sales and offers to buy securities must be either registered or exempted from registration under Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933.  Regulation S provides an exclusion from the Section 5 requirements for transactions that occur outside the United States.  Both private and public securities offerings made outside the United States by U.S. Issuers are excluded from the registration requirements of Section 5 as long as all the requirements of Regulation S are met.  Regulation S may also be relied upon by foreign issuers; however, this blog will concentrate on offerings by U.S. Issuers and affiliates.

Offshore Transactions

An offshore transaction is one in which (i) the offer is not made to a person in the U.S.; and (ii) Either (a) at the time the buy order is originated the buyer is outside the U.S. or the seller reasonably believes the buyer is outside

Sep032013

Will FINRA Rule Changes Related to Private Placement Further Deter Broker Dealers From Placing the Securities of Small Businesses?

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.  A copy of the form is included with the regulatory notice at www.finra.org/web/groups/industry/@ip/@reg/@notice/documents/notices/p325359.pdf.  The Form went effective on July 1, 2013.  FINRA has also updated the FAQs relating to the Private Placement Form.  The updated Private Placement Form has six new questions:

  • Is this a contingency offering?
  • Does the issuer have
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Jul162013

New SEC Rules Have Eliminated the Prohibition Against General Solicitation and Advertising in Rules 506 and 144A Offerings

In a historic 4-1 vote on July 10, 2013, the SEC has 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.  On the same day, the SEC adopted amendments to Rule 506 to disqualify “felons and bad actors” from participating in Rule 506 offerings.  This blog discusses the rules eliminating the prohibition against general solicitation and advertising.  A separate blog will discuss the felon and bad actor disqualifications.

The SEC has also adopted modifications to Form D to require Issuers to specify if they are conducting an offering that permits general solicitation and advertising and to change the required time of filing the Form D for

May162013

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

As I have blogged about in the past, the JOBS Act will have a significant impact on hedge funds, and in particular smaller hedge funds. As the delayed 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 a significant impact as well.

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

(1) Advisers solely to venture capital funds;

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

(3) Certain