Over the years I’ve noted that information required pursuant to various disclosure obligations, or new or amended rules, may be “furnished” versus “filed” with the SEC, but I realize in a “let’s get back to basics” moment, I have not yet (until now) provided a detailed explanation of what that means. In summary, information that is “filed” with the SEC carries Section 18 liability, only “filed” information can be incorporated by reference into other filings, such as an S-3 registration statement, and only “filed” SEC reports affect S-3 eligibility.
Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”) imposes liability on any person that makes or causes to be made any statement in any application, report or document “filed” pursuant to the Exchange Act or any rule thereunder which statement was at the time and in the light of the circumstances under which it was made false or misleading with
In addition to the SEC, the various trading markets, including the Nasdaq, NYSE and OTC Markets are providing relief to trading companies that are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the worldwide COVID-19 crisis.
The NYSE has taken a more formal approach to relief for listed companies. On March 20, 2020 and again on April 6, 2020 the NYSE filed a notice and immediate effectiveness of proposed rule changes to provide relief from the continued listing market cap requirements and certain shareholder approval requirements.
Recognizing the extremely high level of market volatility as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the NYSE has temporarily suspended until June 30, 2020 its continued listing requirement that companies must maintain an average global market capitalization over a consecutive 30-trading-day period of at least $15 million. Likewise, the NYSE is suspending the requirement that a listed company maintain a minimum trading price of $1.00 or more over a consecutive 30-trading-day period,
Effective April 4, 2011, the SEC adopted final rules implementing shareholder advisory votes on executive compensation as required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”). Upon enactment smaller reporting companies were given a two-year exemption from the compliance requirements. Smaller reporting companies are defined as entities which, as of the last business day of their second fiscal quarter, have a public float of less than $75 million. Beginning in 2013, that exemption expired and now these smaller reporting companies are required to include say-on-pay voting. Although smaller reporting companies have been subject to the rules for a year now, I still encounter questions from the entities as to their obligations and requirements under the rules.
The say-on-pay rules were implemented by adding Section 14A, which requires companies to conduct a separate shareholder advisory vote to approve the compensation of executives, which pay is disclosed pursuant to Item 402 (the “say-on-pay” vote).