Division of Corporation Finance

Following the increase in the number of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) and the related business combinations between SPACs and private target businesses (commonly referred to as “de-SPAC” transactions), an increase in regulatory scrutiny, particularly from the Securities and Exchange Commission, is emerging. As discussed below, in the last week the SEC has issued two statements — one related to the accounting treatment of warrants and one related to liability risk — that have attracted considerable attention from SPACs and other stakeholders.
Continue Reading SEC Statements Regarding SPACs Address Warrants and Projections

On March 31, the staff of the Division of Corporation Finance (the Staff) of the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a staff statement (the Staff Statement) relating to accounting, financial reporting and governance issues for private companies to consider before engaging in a business combination with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
Continue Reading SEC Corp Fin Staff Issues Statement on SPAC Transactions

On February 24, acting Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission Allison Herren Lee issued a statement that she has directed the Division of Corporation Finance (the “Staff”) to focus on climate-change disclosures in public company filings. Referencing the SEC’s guidance on climate-change disclosure previously issued in 2010, she stated that the Staff will begin reviewing climate-change disclosures to evaluate compliance with the guidance and disclosure obligations under the federal securities laws, engaging with public companies and considering how the market is managing climate-related risks. In her statement, Chair Lee emphasized that investors are increasingly considering climate-related issues in making their investment decisions, and that it is the SEC’s duty to make sure that investors have access to material information when making those decisions.
Continue Reading Acting SEC Chair Issues Statement on Climate-Change Disclosures

On November 23, the Division of Corporation Finance (the Division) of the Securities and Exchange Commission issued CF Disclosure Guidance: Topic No. 10 (the Guidance), providing the Division’s views regarding disclosure considerations for companies based in or with the majority of their operations in the People’s Republic of China (referred to as “China-based” companies).
Continue Reading Division of Corporation Finance Issues Disclosure Consideration for China-Based Issuers

On November 18, the Division of Corporation Finance (Division) of the Securities and Exchange Commission released updates to the Division’s Financial Reporting Manual. The Financial Reporting Manual is a key source of the Division’s informal accounting guidance and has been updated with changes through October 30.
Continue Reading SEC Division of Corporation Finance Releases Financial Reporting Manual Updates

On September 21, the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a new Compliance and Disclosure Interpretation (C&DI) addressing, and limiting, the ability of shell companies, including special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), to use Form S-3 during the 12 months following a business combination.
Continue Reading SEC Issues C&DI on Use of Form S-3 by SPACs

On September 21, the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a new Compliance and Disclosure Interpretation (C&DI) regarding the treatment of benefits provided to executive officers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and whether such benefits constitute perquisites or personal benefits that must be disclosed in a registrant’s summary compensation table and included when determining the registrant’s three most highly compensated officers (other than the registrant’s principal executive officer and principal financial officer) for identifying the “named executive officers.”
Continue Reading SEC Issues C&DI on COVID-19 Related Benefits

On June 23, the Division of Corporation Finance (the Division) of the Securities and Exchange Commission issued CF Disclosure Guidance: Topic No. 9A (Topic 9A) providing additional disclosure considerations for public reporting companies regarding operations, liquidity and capital resources disclosures in light of business and market disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Topic 9A supplements CF Disclosure Guidance Topic No. 9 issued by the Division on March 25, 2020 and discussed in Katten’s advisory “COVID-19 Impact on Public Disclosure on SEC Reporting Companies.”
Continue Reading SEC Division of Corporation Finance Issues Additional Disclosure Guidance Related to COVID-19 Pandemic