Law Blog Tag: SEC Law Firm
This article continues my series on obligations (and rights and responsibilities) of the board of directors during a merger and/or acquisition transaction. The first in the series detailed the directors’ basic duties of care, loyalty and disclosure. The second discussed the availability of indemnification and/or exculpation and the importance of acting in good faith. This third blog in the series will take a more in-depth look at a directors’ duty of loyalty in a merger and acquisition transaction.
This blog continues my series on obligations (and rights and responsibilities) of the board of directors during a merger and/or acquisition transaction. The first in the series went over the directors basic duties of care, loyalty and disclosure.
State corporate law generally provides that the business and affairs of a corporation shall be managed under the direction of its board of directors. Members of the board of directors have a fiduciary relationship to the corporation, which requires that they act in the best interest of the corporation, as opposed to their own. As such, directors owe a corporation a duty of loyalty, honesty and good faith. Generally a court will not second-guess directors’ decisions as long as the board has conducted an appropriate process in reaching its decision. This is referred to as the “business judgment rule”.
”Gunjumping” is the dissemination of information regarding the Issuer before a complete prospectus has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Communications prior, during and immediately following the filing of a registration statement are strictly regulated to prevent an Issuer from hyping the market in association with an offering. In addition, the SEC wants to ensure that investors decisions to participate in an offering are based on information that has been reviewed by the SEC and meets the disclosure standards set forth in the securities laws.
Initial Public Offerings (IPO’s) are on the rise once again. I have potential clients calling me daily interested in going public through an IPO, most have little or no prior knowledge of the public company arena – so back to basics. An IPO is an initial public offering of securities. Prior to proceeding with an IPO, an Issuer should consider the advantages, disadvantages and alternatives.
Section 4(2) of the Securities Act of 1933, as Amended (“Securities Act”) provides the statutory basis for private placement offerings. In particular, Section 4(2) exempts “transactions by an issuer not involving any public offering.” The key components of this statutory exemption are that the offering must be by the Issuer, not an affiliate, agent or third party, and that the transactions must not involve a public offering. In order to determine if there is a public offering, practitioners must consider Section 2(11) of the Securities Act which defines an underwriter. The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and courts limit the scope of Section 4(2) by preventing indirect public offerings by issuers and control persons through third parties. Accordingly, if an investor acts as a link in the chain of transactions resulting in securities being distributed to the public, they are an underwriter, and the exemption under Section 4(2) is not available.
Effective September 27, 2010, the SEC has approved new FINRA Rule 6490 (Processing of Company Related Actions). Rule 6490 requires that corporations whose securities are trading on the over the counter market (OTCQX, OTCQB, OTCBB or PinkSheets) timely notify FINRA of certain corporate actions, such as dividends, forward or reverse splits, rights or subscription offerings, and name changes. The Rule grants FINRA discretionary power when processing documents related to the announcements, and implements fees for these services.
Over the past few years, the historical “PinkSheets” has undergone some major changes, starting with the creation of certain “tiers” of issuers and culminating in its newly refurbished website and new URL www.otcmarkets.com. Where the term “PinkSheets” used to denote an over the counter quotation system using the website www.pinksheets.com it now simply refers to the lower tier of entities that trade on the over the counter market. In fact the URL www.pinksheets.com no longer exists with users being redirected to the new www.otcmarkets.com.
On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). After many revisions, the final Dodd-Frank Act has only minor effects on securities Issuers and their investors. The primary change, which takes effect immediately, is a modification to the definition of “accredited investor” contained in the Securities Act of 1933. In particular: (i) as it relates to natural persons, the $1,000,000 net worth standard must now be calculated excluding the value of the primary residence of such natural person; and (2) the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been mandated to review the entire accredited investor definition within four (4) years and make appropriate changes within that time, without additional act of Congress.
A SPAC is a company organized to purchase one or more operating businesses and which generally intends to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO), direct public offering (DPO) or private offering.