Who Is An Affiliate And Why Does It Matter – Primary VS Secondary Offering

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 began with an analysis of the Securities Act definition of “affiliate” and the implications under Rule 144, Section 4(a)(7) and Form S-3 eligibility (see HERE).  In this Part 2 of the series, I am delving into the meaty topic of a primary vs. secondary offering, which itself hinges on whether the offeror is an affiliate.

Secondary/Resale Offerings vs. Primary Offerings

A secondary offering is an offering made by or on behalf of bona fide selling shareholders and not by or on behalf of the registrant company.  A secondary offering can only occur after a company is public.  That is, even if a company goes public

SEC Updates May Benefit Equity Line Financing Providers and Issuers

On May 16, 2013, the SEC updated their Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations addressing the point at which an equity line agreement can be determined to be a completed transaction for purposes of filing a resale registration statement. 


Equity line financings are transactions where a company has a long-term contract to put shares to an investor (the equity line provider) at a price, generally determined by a formula based on a discount to market price.  That is, the Issuer has the right to tell the investor when to buy securities from the Issuer over a set period of time and the investor has no right to decline to purchase the securities (or a limited right to decline).  Generally, the dollar value of the