Regulation M, which was adopted in 1996, is designed to prevent market manipulation by participants in a securities offering by regulating certain activities. In general, Regulation M restricts distribution participants (underwriters, placement agents and their affiliates), issuers, selling security holders and their affiliates, from bidding for, purchasing, or attempting to induce other to bid for or purchase, certain securities during an applicable restricted period. Regulation M also prohibits any person that has sold short a security that is the subject of a registered offering from purchasing securities in the offering from an underwriter, or broker or dealer participating in the offering if the short sale took place during a specified period prior to the pricing of the registered offering.
Although a large part of Regulation M relates to underwriter and broker dealer conduct and due diligence obligations, it is helpful for issuers and selling security holders to understand the rules as pertains to them. Regulation M consists of six
Despite an unusual abundance of comments and push-back, on September 16, 2020, one year after issuing proposed rules (see HERE), the SEC has adopted final rules amending Securities Exchange Act (“Exchange Act”) Rule 15c2-11. The primary purpose of the rule amendment is to enhance retail protection where there is little or no current and publicly available information about a company and as such, it is difficult for an investor or other market participant to evaluate the company and the risks involved in purchasing or selling its securities. The SEC believes the final amendments will preserve the integrity of the OTC market, and promote capital formation for issuers that provide current and publicly available information to investors.
From a high level, the amended rule will require that a company have current and publicly available information as a precondition for a broker-dealer to either initiate or continue to quote its securities; will narrow reliance on certain of the rules