Law Blog Tag: Rule 10b5-1
While the issuance of small numbers of shares as prizes or awards to employees may be made without Securities Act Registration, if such awards are tied to the achievement of specific goals (eg. sales goals) by individual employees, an offer or sale requiring registration may be involved. When tied to the achievement of specific goals, the share awards may constitute compensation for services performed or to be performed by the employees that would amount to a disposition of the shares for value and a “sale” of the shares to employees requiring either registration or an exemption from registration under the Securities Act of 1933.
As a safe harbor from insider trading liability, Rule 10b5-1 provides that a purchase or sale of securities will not be deemed to be on the basis of material nonpublic information if it is pursuant to a contract, instruction or plan that (i) was entered into before the person became aware of the information; (ii) specifies the amounts, prices, and dates for transactions under the plan (or includes a formula for determining them); and (iii) does not later allow the person to influence how, when or whether transactions will occur.