With the growing popularity of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), both the Nasdaq and NYSE have proposed rule changes that would make listings easier, although on June 1, 2018, the Nasdaq withdrew its proposal. SPACs raised more money last year than any year since the financial crisis. The SEC has been delaying action on the proposed rule changes, now pushing off a decision until at least August 2018.
A company that registers securities as a blank check company and whose securities are deemed a “penny stock” must comply with Rule 419 and thus are not eligible to trade. A brief discussion of Rule 419 is below. A “penny stock” is defined in Rule 3a51-1 of the Exchange Act and like many definitions in the securities laws, is inclusive of all securities other than those that satisfy certain delineated exceptions. The most common exceptions, and those that would be applicable to penny stocks for purpose of the SPAC, include: (i)
This blog is the first in a two-part series explaining the listing requirements for the two small-cap national exchanges, NASDAQ and the NYSE MKT, beginning with NASDAQ. In addition to often being asked about the listing requirements on NASDAQ and the NYSE MKT, I am asked about the benefits of trading on such an exchange. Accordingly, at the end of this blog I have included a discussion on such benefits.
The NASDAQ Stock Market
The NASDAQ Stock Market currently has three tiers of listed companies: (1) The NASDAQ Global Select Market, (2) The NASDAQ Global Market and (3) The NASDAQ Capital Market. Each tier has increasingly higher listing standards, with the NASDAQ Global Select Market having the highest initial listing standards and the NASDAQ Capital Markets being the entry-level tier for most micro- and small-cap issuers. Keeping in line with the focus of my blogs and practice, this blog is focused on the NASDAQ Capital Market tier.
A company seeking