Back in 2013 I wrote a series of blogs about preparing for and then structuring a private placement or venture deal. In today’s world where public markets are more difficult to access for smaller companies, it is a topic worth revisiting. There are three primary aspects to the private placement or venture capital arena. The first is getting dressed for the ball – i.e., preparing a company to be viewed and assessed by investors including the due diligence process; the second is determining valuation or deciding to avoid a determination through convertible instruments; and the third is structuring the deal itself.
In this two-part blog series I am discussing each of these aspects. This first part addressed pre-deal considerations including valuation considerations and can be read HERE. This part two discusses structuring and documenting the deal.
Structuring The Deal
Nasdaq and the NYSE American both have rules requiring listed companies to receive shareholder approval prior to issuing twenty percent (20%) or more of the outstanding securities in a transaction other than a public offering at a price less than the Minimum Price, as defined in the rule. Nasdaq Rule 5635 sets forth the circumstances under which shareholder approval is required prior to an issuance of securities in connection with: (i) the acquisition of the stock or assets of another company (see HERE); (ii) equity-based compensation of officers, directors, employees or consultants (see HERE); (iii) a change of control (see HERE); and (iv) transactions other than public offerings. NYSE American Company Guide Sections 711, 712 a 713 have substantially similar provisions.
Nasdaq and the NYSE recently amended their rules related to issuances in a private placement to provide greater flexibility and certainty for companies to determine when a shareholder vote is necessary to approve a transaction that
In October 2015, the SEC Division of Economic and Risk Analysis issued a white paper study on unregistered securities offerings from 2009 through 2014 (the “Report”). The Report provides insight into what is working in the private placement market and has been on my radar as a blog since its release, but with so many pressing, timely topics to write about, I am only now getting to this one. The SEC Report is only through 2014; however, at the end of this blog, I have provided supplemental information from another source related to PIPE (private placements into public equity) transactions in 2015.
Private offerings are the largest segment of capital formation in the U.S. markets. In 2014 private offerings raised more than $2 trillion. The SEC study used information collected from Form D filings to provide insight into the offering characteristics, including types of issuers, investors and financial intermediaries that participate in offerings. The Report focuses on Regulation D offerings