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Rule 5635(d)

The 20% Rule- Acquisitions

Nasdaq and the NYSE American both have “20% Rules” requiring listed companies to receive shareholder approval prior to issuing unregistered securities in an amount of 20% or more of their outstanding common stock or voting power. Nasdaq Rule 5635 sets forth the circumstances under which shareholder approval is required prior to an issuance of securities in connection with: (i) the acquisition of the stock or assets of another company; (ii) equity-based compensation of officers, directors, employees or consultants; (iii) a change of control; and (iv) transactions other than public offerings (see HERE related to Rule 5635(d)). NYSE American Company Guide Sections 711, 712 and 713 have substantially similar provisions.

In a series of blogs I will detail these rules and related interpretative guidance. Many other Exchange Rules interplay with the 20% Rules; for example, the Exchanges generally require a Listing of Additional Securities (LAS) form submittal at least 15 days prior to the issuance of securities in the same transactions

Nasdaq Amends Its 20% Dilution Shareholder Approval Rule

Effective September 26, 2018, Nasdaq amended Rule 5635(d) to provide greater flexibility and certainty for companies to determine when a shareholder vote is necessary to approve a transaction that would result in the issuance of 20% or more of the outstanding common stock or 20% or more of outstanding voting power in a PIPE or similar private placement financing transaction. The amendment did not change the remainder of Rule 5635, which requires shareholder approval for transactions such as issuances involving an acquisition of stock or assets of another company, a change of control, or equity compensation that result in a 20% or greater dilution.

Generally, Rule 5635(d) requires Nasdaq-listed companies to obtain shareholder approval in private placement transactions involving the issuance of (i) common stock or securities convertible into or exercisable for common stock at a price less than the greater of book or market value which, together with sales by officers, directors or substantial shareholders of the company,


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Laura Anthony Esq

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