SEC Reopens The Comment Period On Proposed New Share Repurchase Disclosure Rules
On December 15, 2021, the SEC proposed amendments to Securities Exchange Act Rule 10b-18, which provides issuers and affiliates with a non-exclusive safe harbor from liability for market manipulation under Sections 9(a)(2) and 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”) when issuers bid for or repurchase their common stock. The proposed amendments are intended to improve the quality, relevance, and timeliness of information related to issuer share repurchases.
The proposed new rules were part of a broader SEC initiative aimed at market manipulation and insider trading, including the recently adopted amendments related to Rule 10b5-1 Insider Trading Plans (see HERE).
On December 7, 2022, the SEC re-opened the comment period on the proposed new rules for an additional 30 days after publication in the federal register. The reason for re-opening the comment period is that the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 added a corporate non-deductible excise tax equal to one
Termination Of Registration Under Section 12 Of The Exchange Act
A public company with a class of securities registered under Section 12 or which is subject to Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”) must file Section 13 reports with the SEC (10-K, 10-Q and 8-K). A company registers securities under Section 12 by filing an Exchange Act registration statement such as on Form 10, Form 20-F or Form 8-A. A company becomes subject to Section 15(d) by filing a registration statement under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”) such as a Form S-1 or F-1. The Section 15(d) reporting requirements are scaled down from the full Exchange Act reporting requirements for a company with a class of securities registered under Section 12.
I have previously written about suspending the duty to file reports under Section 15(d) and the related question of determining voluntary reporting status (see HERE). This blog addresses the termination of registration under Section 12.
Climate Disclosure Guidance
Ahead of the imminent publication of updated climate disclosure rules, the SEC has published a sample comment letter providing companies with guidance as to the regulator’s current focus and expectations under the rules. The last official SEC guidance on climate-related guidance was published in 2010; however, the SEC, and individual top brass, have been vocal about the need for updated regulations. In that regard, in March 2021, the SEC published a statement requesting public input on climate change disclosures. It is expected that either a rule proposal or temporary final rules are forthcoming. For more information on differing views following the March 2021 request for public comment, including from regulators, industry groups and individual SEC Commissioners, see HERE.
In 2010 as today, companies were and are required to report material information that can impact financial conditions and operations (see most recent amendments to MD&A disclosures: HERE). In addition to MD&A, climate-change-related disclosures, including risks and opportunities, may
The SEC Has Issued New Guidance Related To Foreign Private Issuers
On December 8, 2016, the SEC issued 35 new compliance and disclosure interpretations (C&DI) including five related to the use of Form 20-F by foreign private issuers and seven related to the definition of a foreign private issuer.
C&DI Related to use of Form 20-F
In the first of the five new C&DI, the SEC confirms that under certain circumstances the subsidiary of a foreign private issuer may use an F-series registration statement to register securities that are guaranteed by the parent company, even if the subsidiary itself does not qualify as a foreign private issuer. In addition, the subsidiary may use Form 20-F for its annual report. To qualify, the parent and subsidiary must file consolidated financial statements or be eligible to present narrative disclosure under Rule 3-10 of Regulation S-X.
Likewise in the second of the new C&DI, the SEC confirms that an F-series registration statement may be used to register securities to be issued by the