Law Blog Tag: Securities Attorney
Proposed Rules Eliminating the Prohibition Against General Solicitation and Advertising in Rules 506 and 144A Offerings – Part I
As required by Title II of the JOBS Act, the SEC has published proposed rules eliminating the prohibition against general solicitation and advertising in Rules 506 and 144A offerings. In a move that is widely supported by legal practitioners, including the Federal Regulation of Securities Committee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association, the SEC has proposed simple modifications to Regulation D and Rule 144A mirroring the JOBS Act requirement. In fact, in the rule release the SEC states that it is “proposing only those rule and form amendments that are, in our view, necessary to implement the mandate” in the JOBS Act. The entire text of the rule release is available on the SEC website.
As a reminder, 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 Crowdfunding Act creates a new exemption to the registration requirements under a newly designated Section 4(6) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Although the Crowdfunding Act is, by definition, an exemption from the registration requirements and therefore a new form of private placement, innovative and forward thinking minds have already come up with a method of utilizing the crowdfunding methodology for a public, registered offering.
SEC Grants Accelerated Approval to FINRA Rule Amendment Regarding Minimum Quotation Size Requirements for OTC Equity Securities
On June 15, 2012, the SEC granted accelerated approval to an amendment to FINRA rule 6433 related to the minimum quotation size for OTC equity securities. Rule 6433 applies to all market makers. Rule 6433 sets forth the specific minimum quotation size requirements in tiers that are based on the price of the OTC equity security being quoted by the market maker. In addition, the rule change will require market makers to publish customer limit orders.
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.
Summary of Title II
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. 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.
The CFIRA (Crowdfund Intermediaries Regulatory Advocates) was established by crowdfunding industry professionals for the purpose of working with the SEC and FINRA on establishing and maintaining crowdfunding rules and industry practices. As I blogged in the past, I believed at one point, based on news and information released from the CFIRA, that the CFIRA intended to become a self regulatory organization (SRO) and register with the SEC under Section 15A. As of today, it appears that the CFIRA is still working towards the goal of becoming an SRO. In any event, I expect that the CFIRA will be an active participant in the crowdfunding industry and invaluable source of input and information.
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.
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.
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.
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.