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 23, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to adopt amendments to the rules governing the process for the submission of shareholder proposals to be included in a registrant’s proxy statement. Rule 14a-8 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) requires registrants holding a shareholder meeting that is subject to the Exchange Act proxy rules to include in their proxy statement proposals submitted by shareholders, so long as the applicable procedural and substantive requirements are met.
Continue Reading SEC Adopts Amendments to Shareholder Proposal Rules

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 September 16, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted amendments to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) Rule 15c2-11 to modernize the rule, including by recognizing advances in communications technology. The rule requires broker-dealers to review key, basic issuer information before initiating or resuming quotations for the issuer’s security in the over-the-counter (OTC) market.
Continue Reading SEC Amends Exchange Act Rule 15c2-11 to Enhance Retail Investor Protections and Modernize Governing Quotations for Over-the-Counter Securities

On September 11, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had adopted rules that update and expand the statistical disclosures that bank and savings and loan registrants provide to investors while eliminating duplicative disclosures. The new SEC rules require disclosure about the following:
Continue Reading SEC Modernizes Disclosures for Banking Registrants

On September 9, the Division of Corporation Finance (the Division) of the Securities and Exchange Commission amended CF Disclosure Guidance: Topic No. 7 providing guidance to address alternatives for handling expiring “traditional” confidential treatment requests. This guidance amends and supplements Topic No. 7 issued by the Division on December 19, 2019.

The Division notes in Topic 7 that a company that previously has obtained a confidential treatment order with respect to a particular contract have three choices of what to do when the order is about to expire.
Continue Reading SEC Division of Corporation Finance Issues Additional Guidance Related to Expiring Confidential Treatment Orders

On August 26, the Securities and Exchange Commission published notice in the Federal Register regarding proposed rule changes that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) had filed with the SEC. The changes would delete the order audit trail system (OATS) rules in the FINRA Rule 7400 Series and FINRA Rule 4554 once FINRA members are

As discussed in the August 31, 2020 edition of the Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest, on August 26, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved rules proposed by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to allow companies engaging in a direct listing to raise capital directly through the sale of primary shares upon the direct listing, in addition to, or instead of, facilitating sales of shares solely by existing shareholders.
Continue Reading SEC Stays Implementation of New NYSE Direct Listing Rules

On August 26, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted amendments to the definitions of “accredited investor” in Rule 501(a) and “qualified institutional buyer” in Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act). The amendments expand the definition of accredited investor, a principal test to determine eligibility for participation in private capital markets, even if they do not meet specified income and net worth tests. Amendments to the qualified institutional buyer definition similarly expand the list of eligible entities under that definition. The amendments were adopted generally as proposed with no significant changes. The proposed amendments were previously covered in the December 20, 2019 edition of the Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest.
Continue Reading SEC Amends the Definitions of “Accredited Investor” and “Qualified Institutional Buyer”