Category: Safe Harbors

Safe Harbors: 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…

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

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

Aug122014

Corporate Communications During the Public Offering Process; Avoid Gun Jumping

The public offering process is divided into three periods: (1) the quiet or pre-filing period, (2) the waiting or pre-effective period, and (3) the post-effective period.  Communications made by the company during any of these three periods may, depending on the mode and content, result in violations of Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”).  Communication related violations of Section 5 are often referred to as “gun jumping.”  All forms of communication could create “gun jumping” issues (e.g., press releases, interviews, and use of social media).  “Gun jumping” refers to written or oral offers of securities made before the filing of the registration statement and written offers made after the filing of the registration statement other than by means of a prospectus that meet the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act, a free writing prospectus or a communication falling within one of the several safe harbors from the gun-jumping provisions.

Section 5(a) of

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

Nov062009

Securities Law Update: Intrastate Offerings Section 3(a)(11) and Rule 147 Examined

Section 3(a)(11) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (Securities Act) provides an exemption from the registration requirements of Section 5 of the Securities Act for “[A]ny security which is a part of an issue offered and sold only to persons resident within a single State or Territory, where the issuer of such security is a person resident and doing business within or, if a corporation, incorporated by and doing business within, such State or Territory.” (“Intrastate Exemption”) Rule 147 promulgated under the Securities Act provides for further application of the Intrastate Exemption.

Rule 147, Issuers and Corporate Counsel

In addition to complying with Rule 147, Issuers and their counsel need to be cognizant of and comply with applicable state securities laws regulating intrastate offerings. The Intrastate Exemption is only available for bona fide local offerings. That is, the Issuer must be a resident of, and doing business, within the state in which all offers and sales are made