Law Blog Category: Private Investment in Public Equity (PIPE)
ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100 —————————————————————————————————— Introduction and Background On September 26, 2016, and again on the 27th, the SEC brought enforcement actions against issuers for the failure to file 8-K’s associated with corporate finance transactions and in particular PIPE transactions involving the issuance of convertible debt, preferred equity, warrants and similar instruments. Prior Read the full article…
First, I’d like to give credit to The DealFlow Report which was my initial source for the numerical factual information in this blog.
The Numbers and Facts
Q2 reflects the uncertainty that goes along with an election year and the concerns over tax increases (or decreases) that go along with election years. There also remains the ongoing worry over European markets. In short, it is a time of change and uncertainty. Moreover, according to Adam Lyon, a managing director and co-head of private capital at Conaccord Genuity, the small cap financing market, “is probably in for the usual seasonal fluctuations: a tough summer followed by a pick-up in late August and September.” I note that my law firm has seen this trend consistently for the past decade.
I have explored the topic of promissory notes in previous articles. This analysis shall specifically concentrate on convertible promissory notes.
As a reminder, a promissory note is a written promise by a person, persons or entity to pay a specific amount of money (called “principal”) to another, usually to include a specified amount of interest on the unpaid principal amount. In addition, a promissory note will include the basic specifics of the debt, including the debtor and creditor, when payment or payments are due, interest rates, if the debt is secured, and whether the debt may be converted into stock or other equity. A promissory note that may be converted is often referred to as either a debenture or a convertible promissory note.
A PIPE (Private Investment in Public Equity) transaction is typically a private placement of equity or equity-linked securities by a public company to accredited investors that is followed by the registration of the resale of those securities with the SEC. Generally the securities are sold at a discount to market price. A traditional PIPE generally involves a fixed number of securities at a fixed price, with the closing conditioned only on the effectiveness of a resale registration statement. Any transaction that does not fall within this parameter is considered non-traditional and the structure can vary widely, including for example price variables (such as a death spiral), warrants and options, convertible securities and equity line transactions.
In a typical “equity line” financing arrangement, an investor and an Issuer enter into a written agreement whereby the Issuer has the right to “put” its securities to the investor. That is, the Issuer has the right to tell the investor when to buy securities from the Issuer over a set period of time and the investor has no right to decline to purchase the securities (or a limited right to decline). Generally the dollar value of the equity line is set in the written agreement, but the number of securities varies based on a formula tied to the market price of the securities at the time of each “put”.