Securities Act of 1933

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 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”

On August 26, the Securities and Exchange Commission 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 Approves New NYSE Direct Listing Rules

On July 2, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued Regulatory Notice 20-22 (the Notice) announcing updates to its interpretations regarding (1) FINRA Rule 4210(e)(8), which specifies margin requirements for control and restricted securities, and (2) FINRA Rule 4210(f)(5), which specifies conditions for the consolidation of two or more accounts carried for the same customer.
Continue Reading FINRA Announces Updates to Interpretations of Margin Rule Regarding Control and Restricted Securities and Consolidation of Accounts

On May 4, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s  Division of Corporation Finance (the Division) issued four frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to the SEC’s conditional relief order (the Order) that was issued in the wake of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Continue Reading SEC Division of Corporation Finance Issues Four FAQs Addressing the SEC’s Conditional Relief Order

On March 25, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued an order extending conditional relief (the Modified Order) for reporting and proxy delivery requirements for public company registrants and other filers in the wake of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Modified Order provides filers with an additional 45 days to make filings pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(f), 13(g), 14(a), 14(c), 14(f), 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act), Exchange Act Regulations 13A, 13D-G (except for those provisions mandating the filing of Schedule 13D or amendments to Schedule 13D), 14A, 14C and 15D, and Exchange Act Rules 13f-1, and 14f-1, that would have been due during the period of March 1-July 1, 2020 (the Relief Period), subject to the conditions discussed below. This relief covers, among others, reports on Form 10-K, 20-F, 10-Q, 8-K and 6-K, as well as Schedules 13G and 13F but, as noted, expressly excludes Schedule 13D filings and also is not available for filings under Section 16 of the Exchange Act (i.e., Forms 3, 4 and 5).
Continue Reading SEC Further Extends Filing Deadlines for Companies Impacted by COVID-19

On December 23, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) proposed amendments to Rule 5110, as modified by Partial Amendments No. 1 and No. 2 (Amended Rule 5110), on an accelerated basis in an effort to modernize, simplify and streamline the rule.
Continue Reading SEC Approves Amended Rule Change to FINRA Rule 5110

On December 18, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to propose amendments (the Proposal) to the definition of “accredited investor” for purposes of private placements under Regulation D and the definition of “qualified institutional buyer” in Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933. The Proposal is intended to update and improve the definitions of those terms in order to more effectively identify both institutional and individual investors with the sophistication to participate in private capital markets transactions. In the SEC’s press release announcing the Proposal, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton noted that, “The current test for individual accredited investor status takes a binary approach to who does and does not qualify based only [on] a person’s income or net worth. Modernization of this approach is long overdue.” As highlighted in the fact sheet included in the press release, the Proposal would, among other things:
Continue Reading SEC Announces Proposed Amendments to the Definitions of “Accredited Investor” and “Qualified Institutional Buyer”

On September 26, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted a new rule to allow all issuers, not just emerging growth companies, to utilize “test-the-waters” communications in connection with an initial public offering or other securities offering.

The rule implements the proposal put forth by the SEC in February 2019, discussed in the March 1, 2019 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest.
Continue Reading New SEC Rule Expands “Test-the-Waters” to All Issuers

On April 3, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporate Finance (the “Division”) responded to TurnKey Jet, Inc.’s (TKJ) letter dated April 2, requesting confirmation that the Division would not recommend enforcement action to the SEC in connection with its offer and sale of tokens without registration under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In issuing its response that it would not recommend enforcement action to the SEC, the Division noted that:
Continue Reading SEC Issues TurnKey Jet, Inc. No-Action Letter