In addition to being a tragedy, the Russian attack on the Ukraine has disrupted businesses around the world, caused a spike in oil prices and raised disclosure issues for public companies as we are firmly in 10-K and proxy season.. In addition to the obvious disruption of business in both the Ukraine and Russia, the U.S. and many other European countries have imposed significant sanctions against Russia that may also impact companies and U.S. capital market participants. No fewer than three of my clients have been directly affected by the conflict from the extreme of having to close an entire division to the less impactful certain non-collectability of receivables.
Disclosure requirements will depend upon the specific facts and circumstances of a particular company, but key areas that may need attention are risk factors, description of business and management’s discussion and analysis (MD&A).
In August 2020, the SEC adopted final amendments to Item 105 – Risk Factors
Just eight months following the rule proposal (see HERE), on August 26, 2020, the SEC adopted final amendments to Item 101 – description of business, Item 103 – legal proceedings, and Item 105 – Risk Factors of Regulation S-K. The amendments make a more principles-based approach to business descriptions and risk factors, recognizing the significant changes in business models since the rule was adopted 30 years ago. The amendments to disclosures related to legal proceedings continue the current prescriptive approach. In addition, the rule changes are intended to improve the readability of disclosure documents, as well as discourage repetition and disclosure of information that is not material.
The Item 101 and Item 103 amendments only apply to domestic companies and foreign private issuer that elect to file using domestic company forms. The forms generally used by foreign private issuers (F-1, F-3, 20-F, etc.) do not have references to Items 101 and 103 of Regulation S-K but rather refer