Section 3(a)(9) of the Securities Act of 1933, provides an exemption from the registration requirements for “[E]xcept with respect to a security exchanged in a case under title 11 of the United States Code, any security exchanged by the issuer with its existing security holders exclusively where no commission or other remuneration is paid or given directly or indirectly for soliciting such exchange.” Generally, in an exchange offer, the issuer offers to exchange new debt or equity securities for its outstanding debt or equity securities.
Since Section 3(a)(9) is a transactional exemption, the new securities issued are subject to the same restrictions on transferability, if any, of the old securities, and any subsequent transfer of the newly issued securities will require registration or another exemption from registration. However, since the new securities take on the character of the old securities, tacking of a holding period is generally permitted allowing for subsequent resales under Rule 144 (assuming all other conditions have
The disclosure requirements at the heart of the federal securities laws involve a delicate and complex balancing act. Too little information provides an inadequate basis for investment decisions; too much can muddle and diffuse disclosure and thereby lessen its usefulness. The legal concept of materiality provides the dividing line between what information companies must disclose, and must disclose correctly, and everything else. Materiality, however, is a highly judgmental standard, often colored by a variety of factual presumptions.
Transparency in Financial Markets
The guiding purpose of the many and complex disclosure provisions of the federal securities laws is to promote “transparency” in the financial markets. However, the task of winnowing out the irrelevant, redundant and trivial from the potentially meaningful material falls on corporate executives and their professional advisors in the creation of corporate disclosure, and on investment advisors, stock analysts and individual investors in its interpretation. The concept of materiality represents the dividing line between information reasonably likely to influence