WHO IS AN “AFFILIATE” AND WHY DOES IT MATTER? PART 1
The concept of affiliation resonates throughout the federal securities laws, including pertaining to both the Securities Act and Exchange Act rules, regulations and forms and Nasdaq and NYSE compliance. In this multipart series of blogs, I will unpack what the term “affiliate” means and its implications. This first blog in the series begins with the Securities Act definition of an “affiliate” and the implications under Rule 144, Section 4(a)(7) and Form S-3 eligibility. In Part 2 of the series, I will delve into the meaty topic of a primary vs. secondary offering, which itself hinges on whether the offeror is an affiliate.
Securities Act Definition of Affiliate
The Securities Act provides a statutory definition of an “affiliate” to begin what is a facts and circumstances analysis (as is common in the federal securities laws). Rule 405 of the Securities Act defines an “affiliate” as “[A]n affiliate of, or
Over the years I’ve noted that information required pursuant to various disclosure obligations, or new or amended rules, may be “furnished” versus “filed” with the SEC, but I realize in a “let’s get back to basics” moment, I have not yet (until now) provided a detailed explanation of what that means. In summary, information that is “filed” with the SEC carries Section 18 liability, only “filed” information can be incorporated by reference into other filings, such as an S-3 registration statement, and only “filed” SEC reports affect S-3 eligibility.
Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”) imposes liability on any person that makes or causes to be made any statement in any application, report or document “filed” pursuant to the Exchange Act or any rule thereunder which statement was at the time and in the light of the circumstances under which it was made false or misleading with
As the strongest U.S. IPO market in decades continues unabated, it seems a good time to talk about underwriter’s compensation. FINRA Rule 5110 (Corporate Financing Rule – Underwriting Terms and Arrangements) governs the compensation that may be received by an underwriter in connection with a public offering.
Rule 5110 – The “Corporate Financing Rule”
Rule 5110 regulates underwriting compensation and prohibits unfair arrangements in connection with the public offerings of securities. The Rule prohibits member firms from participating in a public offering of securities if the underwriting terms and conditions, including compensation, are unfair as defined by FINRA. The Rule requires FINRA members to make filings with FINRA disclosing information about offerings they participate in, including the amount of all compensation to be received by the firm or its principals, and affiliations and relationships that could result in the existence of a conflict of interest. As more fully described herein, underwriter’s compensation is subject to lock-up provisions.
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.
Changes In India’s Laws Related To Foreign Direct Investments- A U.S. Opportunity; Brief Overview For Foreign Private Issuers
In June 2016, the Indian government announced new rules allowing for foreign direct investments into Indian owned and domiciled companies. The new rules continue a trend in laws supporting India as an open world economy. A large portion of the U.S. public marketplace is actually the trading of securities of foreign owned or held businesses. Foreign businesses may register and trade directly on U.S. public markets as foreign private issuers, or they may operate as partial or wholly owned subsidiaries of U.S. parent companies that in turn quote and trade on either the OTC Markets or a U.S. exchange.
Brief Overview for Foreign Private Issuers
Definition of Foreign Private Issuer
Both the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”) and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”) contain definitions of a “foreign private issuer.” Generally, if a company does not meet the definition of a foreign private issuer, it is subject to the same registration and