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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
What is a reverse merger? What is the process?
A reverse merger is the most common alternative to an initial public offering (IPO) or direct public offering (DPO) for a company seeking to go public. A “reverse merger” allows a privately held company to go public by acquiring a controlling interest in, and merging with, a public operating or public shell company. The SEC defines a “shell company” as a publically traded company with (1) no or nominal operations and (2) either no or nominal assets or assets consisting solely of any amount of cash and cash equivalents.
In a reverse merger process, the private operating company shareholders exchange their shares of the private company for either new or existing shares of the public company so that
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
As a reminder, on April 5, 2012 President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law. Part of the JOBS Act is the Crowdfunding Act, the full title of which is the “Capital Raising Online While Deterring Fraud and Unethical Non-Disclosure Act of 2012”. The Crowdfunding Act creates a new exemption to the registration requirements under a newly designated Section 4(6) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Although the Crowdfunding Act is, by definition, an exemption from the registration requirements and therefore a new form of private placement, innovative and forward thinking minds have already come up with a method of utilizing the crowdfunding methodology for a public, registered offering.
What is a crowdfunding registered offering:
A crowdfunding registered offering is a combination of direct public offering (DPO) and initial public offering (IPO). As I have blogged about in the past, a DPO is like an IPO except the Issuing Company does not use an underwriter to
In today’s financial environment, many Issuers are choosing to self underwrite their public offerings, commonly referred to as a Direct Public Offering (DPO). Moreover, as almost all potential investors have computers, many Issuers are choosing to utilize the Internet for such DPO’s. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published rules for utilizing the Internet for an offering.
To comply with the SEC rules for electronic use, an Issuer must comply with the following minimum rules, among others:
- An electronic prospectus must provide the same information as a paper written prospectus;
- The Investor must elect to receive electronic delivery of the prospectus and must be provided with personal access codes to access electronic materials over the Internet;
- The Investor must pre-qualify to receive the offering materials (such as being in a particular state, being accredited, etc.) prior to receiving access codes;
- The Investor must be immediately notified of any amendments or changes in the offering documents; and
- The Issuer must