SEC Proposes New Rules For SPACs – Part 5

On March 30, 2022, the SEC proposed rules related to SPAC and de-SPAC transactions including significantly enhanced disclosure obligations, expanding the scope of deemed public offerings in these transactions, making a target company a co-registrant when a SPAC files an S-4 or F-4 registration statement associated with a business combination, and aligning de-SPAC transactions with initial public offering rules.  In addition, the SEC has also proposed rules that would deem any business combination transaction involving a reporting shell company, including but not limited to a SPAC, to involve a sale of securities to the reporting shell company’s shareholders.  The new rules would amend a number of financial statement requirements applicable to transactions involving shell companies.

In addition to proposing new rules for SPAC and de-SPAC transactions, the SEC is proposing new Securities Act Rule 145a that would deem all business combinations with an Exchange Act reporting shell to involve the sale of securities to the reporting shell company’s

SEC Proposes New Rules for SPACs- Part 3

Anthony L.G., PLLC Securities Law Firm

On March 30, 2022, the SEC proposed rules enhancing disclosure requirements associated with SPAC initial public offerings (IPOs) and de-SPAC merger transactions; requiring that a private operating company be a co-registrant when a SPAC files an S-4 or F-4 registration statement associated with a business combination; requiring a re-determination of smaller reporting company status within four days following the consummation of a de-SPAC transaction; amending the definition of a “blank check company” to make the liability safe harbor in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 for forward-looking statement such as projections, unavailable in filings by SPACs and other blank check companies; and deeming underwriters in a SPAC IPO to be underwriters in a de-SPAC transaction when certain conditions are met.

The proposed rules would require specialized disclosure with respect to compensation paid to sponsors, conflicts of interest, dilution and the fairness of business combination transactions.  Further disclosures will also be required in connection with the use of

SEC Proposes New SPAC Rules – Part 2

On March 30, 2022, the SEC proposed rules enhancing disclosure requirements associated with SPAC initial public offerings (IPOs) and de-SPAC merger transactions; requiring that a private operating company be a co-registrant when a SPAC files an S-4 or F-4 registration statement associated with a business combination; requiring a re-determination of smaller reporting company status within four days following the consummation of a de-SPAC transaction; amending the definition of a “blank check company” to make the liability safe harbor in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 for forward-looking statement such as projections, unavailable in filings by SPACs and other blank check companies; and deeming underwriters in a SPAC IPO to be underwriters in a de-SPAC transaction when certain conditions are met.

The proposed rules would require specialized disclosure with respect to compensation paid to sponsors, conflicts of interest, dilution and the fairness of business combination transactions.  Further disclosures will also be required in connection with the use of projections. 

SPAC IPOs A Sign Of Impending M&A Opportunities

The last time I wrote about special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) in July 2018, I noted that SPACs had been growing in popularity, raising more money in 2017 than in any year since the last financial crisis (see HERE).  Not only has the trend continued, but the Covid-19 crisis, while temporarily dampening other aspects of the IPO market, has caused a definite uptick in the SPAC IPO world.

In April, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that SPACs are booming and that “[S]o far this year, these special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, have raised $6.5 billion, on pace for their biggest year ever, according to Dealogic. In April, 80% of all money raised for U.S. initial public offerings went to blank-check firms, compared with an average of 9% over the past decade.”

I’m not surprised.  Within weeks of Covid-19 reaching a global crisis and causing a shutdown of the U.S. economy, instead of my phone

Proposed SPAC Rule Changes

With the growing popularity of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), both the Nasdaq and NYSE have proposed rule changes that would make listings easier, although on June 1, 2018, the Nasdaq withdrew its proposal. SPACs raised more money last year than any year since the financial crisis. The SEC has been delaying action on the proposed rule changes, now pushing off a decision until at least August 2018.

A company that registers securities as a blank check company and whose securities are deemed a “penny stock” must comply with Rule 419 and thus are not eligible to trade. A brief discussion of Rule 419 is below. A “penny stock” is defined in Rule 3a51-1 of the Exchange Act and like many definitions in the securities laws, is inclusive of all securities other than those that satisfy certain delineated exceptions. The most common exceptions, and those that would be applicable to penny stocks for purpose of the SPAC, include: (i)