The Sale of Unregistered Securities Must Satisfy Form 8-K Filing Requirements In a 3(a)(10) Transaction

Introduction and Background

Recently the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has been taking action against public reporting companies for the failure to file a Form 8-K upon the completion of a transaction exempt under Section 3(a)(10) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”).  The SEC has served a Wells notice on numerous companies for the failure to file such Form 8-K without any prior communication with such companies. Since enforcement actions for the failure to file a Form 8-K are very rare, it is my view that the SEC is concerned with the 3(a)(10) transaction itself.

A Wells notice, often referred to as a Wells letter, is a notice delivered by the SEC to persons and entities under investigation providing the opportunity to such persons and entities to present their position to the SEC prior to the commencement of an enforcement proceeding.  A Wells letter gives notice of the SEC’s intended charges and enforcement recommendation and