Category: S-1 Registration Statement

S-1 Registration Statement: Company X (the “Company”) sells shares to a group of 35 unaffiliated shareholders pursuant to an effective S-1 registration statement. These same 35 unaffiliated shareholders (the “Sellers”) sell their registered stock to a group of 35 unaffiliated purchasers (the Buyers”) in a private transaction (the “Transaction”)…

Dec152015

The Fast Act (Fixing American’s Surface Transportation Act)

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed the Fixing American’s Surface Transportation Act (the “FAST Act”) into law, which included many capital markets/securities-related bills. The FAST Act is being dubbed the JOBS Act 2.0 by many industry insiders. The FAST Act has an aggressive rulemaking timetable and some of its provisions became effective immediately upon signing the bill into law on December 4, 2015.

In July 2015, the Improving Access to Capital for Emerging Growth Companies Act (the “Improving EGC Act”) was approved by the House and referred to the Senate for further action. Since that time, this Act was bundled with several other securities-related bills into a transportation bill (really!) – i.e., the FAST Act.

In addition to the Improving EGC Act, the FAST Act incorporated the following securities-related acts: (i) the Disclosure Modernization and Simplifications Act (see my blog HERE ); (ii) the SBIC Advisers Relief Act; (iii) the Reforming Access

Oct072014

Insider Trading- A Case Study

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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Illegal insider trading refers generally to buying or selling a security, in breach of a fiduciary duty or other relationship of trust and confidence, while in possession of material, nonpublic information about the security. Insider trading violations may also include “tipping” such information, securities trading by the person “tipped,” and securities trading by those who misappropriate such information.  Any and all persons that buy and sell stock may be subject to insider trading liability.  This blog sets forth a particular hypothetical fact scenario and analyzes the associated insider trading implications.

Hypothetical Fact Pattern:  Company X (the “Company”) sells shares to a group of 35 unaffiliated shareholders pursuant to an effective S-1 registration statement.  These same 35 unaffiliated shareholders (the “Sellers”) sell their registered stock to a group of 35 unaffiliated purchasers (the Buyers”) in a private transaction (the “Transaction”).  At or near the same time as the Transaction, the control block

Aug192014

NASAA and US Senate Oppose State Law Pre-Emption in Proposed Regulation A+

On December 18, 2013, the SEC published proposed rules to implement Title IV of the JOBS Act, commonly referred to as Regulation A+.  Since that time there has been very little activity towards the advancement of a final rule.  The comment period closed March 24, 2014, and presumably the SEC is analyzing the information and deciding on the next reiteration.

NASAA

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), a group whose members are comprised of state securities regulators, while supportive of the Regulation A+ concept as a whole, has been vocal of its opposition of the proposed state law pre-emption provisions.

Notably, on April 8, 2014, Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar, the NASAA liaison, gave a speech at the North American Securities Administrators Association commenting on the NASAA’s position.  In the speech Mr. Aguilar praised the concept of the rule itself, including the two-tier structure, offering amount limits and importantly ongoing reporting requirements.  He expressed agreement with many of the same

Jul292014

Direct Public Offerings by Shell Companies- Tread Carefully

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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.

Rule 419 and Blank Check Companies

The provisions of Rule 419 apply to every registration statement filed under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, by a blank check company.  Rule 419 requires that the

Apr152014

Public Company SEC Reporting Requirements

A public company with a class of securities registered under either Section 12 or which is subject to Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”) must file reports with the SEC (“Reporting Requirements”).  The underlying basis of the Reporting Requirements is to keep shareholders and the markets informed on a regular basis in a transparent manner.   Reports filed with the SEC can be viewed by the public on the SEC EDGAR website.  The required reports include an annual Form 10-K, quarterly Form 10Q’s and current periodic Form 8-K as well as proxy reports and certain shareholder and affiliate reporting requirements. 

A company becomes subject to the Reporting Requirements by filing an

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

Feb042014

SEC Files Proceedings Against 19 S-1 Companies and Suspends Trading on 255 Shell Companies

A.  S-1 Proceedings

On February 3, 2014, the SEC initiated administrative proceedings against 19 companies that had filed S-1 registration statements.  The 19 registration statements were all filed with an approximate 2-month period around January 2013.  Each of the companies claimed to be an exploration-stage entity in the mining business without known reserves, and each claimed they had not yet begun actual mining.  The 19 entities used the same attorney, who is the subject of a separate SEC action filed in August 2013 alleging involvement in a pump-and-dump scheme.  Each of the entities was incorporated at around the same time using the same registered agent service.  The 19 S-1’s read substantially the same.

Importantly, each of the 19 S-1’s lists a separate officer, director and sole shareholder, and each claims that this person is the sole control person.  The SEC complains that contrary to the representations in the S-1, a separate single individual is the actual control person behind each

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

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

Oct012013

SEC has Modified Policies on Offerings by Shell Companies

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 offerings using an S-1 registration statement and successfully obtained market maker support and a ticker symbol from FINRA and are trading.  As recently as 18 months ago, this was not possible.

Rule 419 and Blank-Check Companies

The provisions of Rule 419 apply to every registration statement filed under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, by a blank-check company.  Rule 419 requires that the blank-check company filing such registration statement deposit the securities being offered and proceeds of the offering into