NYSE Annual Compliance Guidance Memo And Amended Rules
In January, NYSE Regulation sent out its yearly Compliance Guidance Memo to NYSE American listed companies. Although we are already halfway through the year, the annual letter has useful information that remains timely. As discussed in the Compliance Memo, the NYSE sought SEC approval to permanently change its shareholder approval rules in accordance with the temporary rules enacting to provide relief to listed companies during Covid. The SEC approved the amended rules on April 2, 2021.
Amendment to Shareholder Approval Rules
The SEC has approved NYSE rule changes to the shareholder approval requirements in Sections 312.03 and 312.04 of the NYSE Listed Company Manual (“Manual”) and the Section 314 related party transaction requirements. The rule changes permanently align the rules with the temporary relief provided to listed companies during Covid (for more on the temporary relief, see HERE
Prior to the amendment, Section 312.03 of the Manual prohibited certain issuances to (i) directors, officers or substantial shareholders (related parties),
Nasdaq Rule Amendments 2020
In addition to the temporary rule changes and relief that Nasdaq has provided this year for companies affected by Covid-19 (see HERE and HERE), the exchange has enacted various rule amendments with varying degrees of impact and materiality.
In particular, over the last year Nasdaq has amended its delisting process for low-priced securities, updated its definition of a family member for the purpose of determining director independence and has clarified the term “closing price” for purposes of the 20% rule. This blog discusses each of these amendments.
In April 2020, the SEC approved Nasdaq rule changes to the delisting process for certain securities that fall below the minimum price for continued listing. The rule change modifies the delisting process for securities with a bid price at or below $0.10 for ten consecutive trading days during any bid-price compliance period and for securities that have had one or more reverse stock splits with a cumulative ratio of
NASDAQ Requires Disclosure Of Third-Party Director Compensation
On July 1, 2016, the SEC approved NASDAQ’s new rule requiring listed companies to publicly disclose compensation or other payments by third parties to members of or nominees to the board of directors. The new rule, which went into effect in early August, is being dubbed the “Golden Leash Disclosure Rule.”
The Golden Leash Disclosure Rule
New NASDAQ Rule 5250(b)(3) requires each listed company to publicly disclose the material terms of all agreements or other arrangements between any director or director nominee and any other person or entity relating to compensation or any other payment in connection with the person’s position as director or candidacy as director. The disclosure does not include regular compensation from the company itself for director services. The disclosure must be included in any proxy or information statement issued under Regulation 14C or 14A for a shareholder’s meeting at which directors will be elected. A company can also include the disclosure on its website.
Confidentially Marketed Public Offerings (CMPO)
Not surprisingly, I read the trades including all the basics, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The Street, The PIPEs Report, etc. A few years ago I started seeing the term “confidentially marketed public offerings” or “CMPO” on a regular basis. The weekly PIPEs Report breaks down offerings using a variety of metrics and in the past few years, the weekly number of completed CMPOs has grown in significance. CMPOs count for billions of dollars in capital raised each year.
A CMPO is a type of shelf offering registered on a Form S-3 that involves speedy takedowns when market opportunities present themselves (for example, on heavy volume). A CMPO is very flexible as each takedown is on negotiated terms with the particular investor or investor group. In particular, an effective S-3 shelf registration statement allows for takedowns at a discount to market price and other flexibility in the parameters of the offering such
NASDAQ Listing Requirements
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.
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