Law Blog Category: Reverse Mergers

Regulation A+; A Brief History

Title IV of the JOBS Act – Small Capital Formation – is quickly being called the new Regulation A+. Title IV of the JOBS Act technically amends Section 3(b) of the Securities Act of 1933, which up to now has been a general provision allowing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to fashion exemptions from registration, up to a total offering amount of $5,000,000. The new provision will be Section 3(b)(2) with the old statutory language remaining and being relabeled as Section 3(b)(1).

What is an Accredited Investor or a Qualified Institutional Investor Anyway?

Title II of the JOBS Act provides that the SEC will amend Section 4(2) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Regulation D promulgated there under, to eliminate the prohibition on general solicitation and general advertising in a Rule 506 offering, so long as all purchasers in such offering are accredited investors. The JOBS Act directs the SEC to make the same amendment to Rule 144A so long as all purchasers in the Rule 144A offering are qualified institutional buyers. Neither a Rule 506 offering nor a Rule 144A offering will be considered a public offering (i.e. will lose its exemption) by virtue of a general solicitation or general advertising so long as the issuer has taken reasonable steps to verify that purchasers are either accredited investors or qualified institutional buyers, respectively. Since it would be impossible to ensure that only accredited investors, or qualified institutional buyers, receive, review or become aware of general solicitations and advertisements, the rule focuses on ensuring that the purchasers qualify.

Native American Energy Granted Full Eligibility for DTC Services After Four-Year Appeal

Native American Energy Group (NAGP), an oil and gas exploration company has been granted full eligibility for clearing and settlement services through the Depository Trust Co., in the latest in a series of victories by microcap companies involving the DTC. According to several sources, the effort was a four-year battle for Native American Energy that cost the company $175,000 in legal fees, left it $2 million in debt and caused it to lose more than 30 funding opportunities.

Crowdfunding Intermediaries – SEC Issues Guidance

On April 5, 2012 President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law. Part of the JOBS Act is the Crowdfunding Act, the full title of which is the “Capital Raising Online While Deterring Fraud and Unethical Non-Disclosure Act of 2012”. The SEC has been mandated with the task of drafting the crowdfunding rules and regulations by early 2013. In addition to fashioning the exemption that will allow companies to raise funds using the Crowdfunding Act, the SEC must also fashion rules to govern the crowdfunding intermediaries that companies will be required to use in the process.

SEC Suspends Trading for Record Number of Shell Companies

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today suspended the trading in 379 dormant shell companies. This is the most trading suspensions in a single day in the history of the SEC. The trading suspensions are part of an SEC initiative tabbed Operation Shell-Expel by the SEC’s Microcap Fraud Working Group. Each of the companies was a dormant shell that was lacking any and all public disclosures. That is, each of the companies failed to have adequate current public information available either through the news service on OTC Markets or filed with the SEC via EDGAR.

NASDAQ Lowers Price Per Share Initial Listing Requirement

The SEC has approved the recent NASDAQ rule change to lower the minimum bid listing requirement from $4.00 to either $2.00 or $3.00 depending on qualification for certain other listing requirements. The text of the entire new rule is available on the SEC website.

THE JOBS ACT IMPACT ON HEDGE FUND MARKETING

On April 5, 2012 President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) into law. The other day I blogged about the changes to the general solicitation and advertising rules brought about by the JOBS Act. Today I am focusing on the impact those rule changes will have on hedgefunds, and in particular, smaller hedgefunds.

JOBS Act Amendments to General Solicitation and Advertising of Private Offerings

Title II of the JOBS Act provides that, within 90 days of the passage of the JOBS Act (i.e. July 5, 2012), the SEC will amend Section 4(2) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Regulation D promulgated there under, to eliminate the prohibition on general solicitation and general advertising in a Rule 506 offering, so long as all purchasers in such offering are accredited investors. The JOBS Act directs the SEC to make the same amendment to Rule 144A so long as all purchasers in the Rule 144A offering are qualified institutional buyers.

At-The-Market Offerings

Anyone that reads the trade journals knows that at-the-market offerings, or ATM’s as they are now known, have recently gained in popularity and are expected to continue to do so. An ATM is the offering of securities by an Issuer either directly or through an underwriter, which securities are offered and distributed at the existing trading price. In layman’s terms, an ATM occurs when an already public trading Issuer registers and sells additional securities to the public at the existing trading price, as opposed to a fixed price. Accordingly, the price that shares sell at in an ATM will vary with the market price on any given day, or even throughout the day.

Crowdfunding intermediaries- Hurry Up and Wait

On April 5, 2012 President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law. Part of the JOBS Act is the Crowdfunding Act, the full title of which is the “Capital Raising Online While Deterring Fraud and Unethical Non-Disclosure Act of 2012”. I think the acronym came first, but applaud the creativity.

I have been blogging extensively on the JOBS Act and Crowdfunding Act. My last blog addressed Herculean effort the SEC must undertake to write the laws and rules which will bring the Crowdfunding Act to fruition by early 2013. In addition to fashioning the exemption that will allow companies to raise funds using the Crowdfunding Act, the SEC must also fashion rules to govern the funding portals that companies will be required to use in the process.

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