On June 22, 2022, the SEC published its semiannual regulatory agenda and plans for rulemaking. The Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions contains the Regulatory Plans of 28 federal agencies and 68 federal agency regulatory agendas. As expected, the Spring 2022 Agenda (“Agenda”) met with criticism from Commissioner Hester M. Peirce. Commissioner Peirce rips the newest Agenda as being disconnected with the SEC’s core mission and as being focused on special interest groups instead of a broad range of market participants. I’ll include her comments throughout this blog. The Agenda is published twice a year, and for several years I have blogged about each publication.
The Agenda is broken down by (i) “Pre-rule Stage”; (ii) Proposed Rule Stage; (iii) Final Rule Stage; and (iv) Long-term Actions. The Proposed and Final Rule Stages are intended to be completed within the next 12 months and Long-term Actions are anything beyond that. The number of items to be completed in a
In early April, the SEC Office of Small Business Policy published the 2016 Final Report on the SEC Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation, a forum I had the honor of attending and participating in. As required by the Small Business Investment Incentive Act of 1980, each year the SEC holds a forum focused on small business capital formation. The goal of the forum is to develop recommendations for government and private action to eliminate or reduce impediments to small business capital formation.
The forum is taken seriously by the SEC and its participants, including the NASAA, and leading small business and professional organizations. The forum began with short speeches by each of the SEC commissioners and a panel discussion, following which attendees, including myself, worked in breakout sessions to drill down on specific issues and suggest changes to rules and regulations to help support small business capital formation, as well as the related, secondary trading markets. In
SEC Issues New C&DI Clarifying The Use Of Form S-3 By Smaller Reporting Companies; The Baby Shelf Rule
The SEC has been issuing a slew of new Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (“C&DI”) on numerous topics in the past few months. I will cover each of these new C&DI in a series of blogs starting with one C&DI that clarifies the availability of Form S-3 for the registration of securities by companies with a public float of less than $75 million, known as the “baby shelf rule.”
The Baby Shelf Rule
Among other requirements, to qualify to use an S-3 registration statement a company must have filed all Exchange Act reports in a timely manner, including Form 8-K, within the prior 12 months and trade on a national exchange. An S-3 also contains certain limitations on the value of securities that can be offered. Companies that have an aggregate market value of voting and non-voting common stock held by non-affiliates of $75 million or more, may offer the full amount of securities under an S-3 registration. For companies
As an attorney specializing in the representation of companies and investment funds in the micro, small and mid cap arena, we work on corporate financing transactions involving convertible debt almost daily. These transactions provide a tremendous amount of benefit to these small cap companies, in that they obtain cash today that will be repaid with common stock tomorrow. Financing using convertible instruments that are repaid with stock is one of the many reasons an entity may choose to go public. However, the financing comes at a price including both dilution to existing stockholders and likely a reduced stock price resulting from the selling pressure when the debt is converted. Of course, all financing has pros and cons and public entities need to consider