Law Blog Tag: PIPE Financing

Convertible Promissory Notes; Flexible Financing Options

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.

PIPE Transactions, Terms and Requirements

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.