2020 has been a banner year for IPOs by special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs. Over 100 SPAC IPOs have closed so far in 2020, with aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $42.1 billion and an average IPO size of $382.4 million. This represents a dramatic increase from 2019, in which 59 SPAC IPOs closed, with aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $13.6 billion and an average IPO size of $230.5 million.… More
Category Archives: IPO
Recent Amendments to FINRA Rules 5130 and 5131
While many people extol the virtues of a good spin class (particularly in January, following New Year’s resolutions), in the context of Initial Public Offerings, “spinning” has a severely negative connotation. Spinning was a practice where a bank held back shares of a popular initial public offering to allocate to an executive officer or director of a current or potential investment banking client of the bank instead of placing those shares with investors through the standard public offering allocation process. … More
Recent headlines have been filled with the news from Davos that effective July 1, 2020 Goldman Sachs will not underwrite companies that do not have at least one diverse board member. They plan to raise the target to two diverse board members starting in 2021. With four seats on its eleven member board held by women and a Lead Director who is Nigerian, Goldman is an example of board diversity and its Chairman and CEO,… More
WeWork, rebranded as The We Company earlier this year, officially withdrew its IPO registration statement on September 30, 2019. The company has had an unusually rocky ride from its August 14, 2019 public filing to an outcome that few, if any, would have predicted from one of the most high profile unicorns to seek capital in the public market. As the company moves forward with new co-CEOs, the abandoned (or delayed) IPO serves as a case study of the issues that private companies face under the scrutiny of regulators and public investors. … More
On March 20, 2019, the SEC amended its disclosure requirements to ease reporting burdens for most public companies. While no individual change is particularly noteworthy, the aggregate impact of the changes should generally simplify the reporting process. A few changes will require modest additional disclosures. The most significant changes are:
- Confidential treatment requests – Very helpfully, the SEC is dispensing with the need to obtain the staff’s prior approval of a confidential treatment request before redacting information from certain exhibits when the information is not material and its disclosure would likely cause competitive harm.…
In apparent recognition of the popularity of “testing the waters” by Emerging Growth Companies (EGCs) before proceeding with an IPO, the Securities and Exchange Commission recently voted to propose an expansion of this accommodation to all companies. Currently, EGCs and any person authorized to act on behalf of an EGC may engage in oral or written communications with potential investors that are qualified institutional buyers or institutional accredited investors to determine whether these investors might have an interest in a contemplated securities offering without violating the SEC’s prohibition on gun-jumping.… More
The SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance has posted helpful FAQs about the impact of the government shutdown on registration statements for public offerings. During the shutdown, the SEC will not declare registration statements effective, but companies still have several options that may enable them to pursue their offerings.
Well-known seasoned issuers can continue to file automatically effective registration statements, and companies with already effective shelf registration statements should be able to complete a takedown unless the terms of the offering would require the issuer to file a post-effective amendment.… More
Spotify made a big splash with its novel approach to “going public.” Rather than following the tried-and-true path of an initial public offering – where the issuer sells stock to the public through underwriters – Spotify pursued a “direct listing.” But did it really do anything different?
While it is true that Spotify did not directly sell any stock to the public, it did file a traditional form of registration statement,… More
In a series of recent public statements (most recently in February 2018), the SEC has encouraged companies to pursue relief under Rule 3-13 of Regulation S-X—the regulation that specifies the form and content of financial statements required by public companies. Pursuant to Rule 3-13, the SEC Staff may permit the omission of financial statements that are otherwise required under Reg S-X or the substitution of such required financial statements with other statements of comparable character.… More
We are hosting a session at NewCo Boston entitled “Planning for Exit. Top 5 Pitfalls.” It’s never too soon to plan for your company’s exit. Whether by IPO, sale or otherwise, you need to make sure you are ready when opportunity knocks.
Our discussion will guide you through the stages of exit and help your company avoid the most common mistakes. Preparing now makes for a smooth exit later!… More
On September 26, 2017, proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) released the results of its annual Governance Principles Survey, which showed that 43% of surveyed investors consider multi-class capital structures with unequal voting rights inappropriate for a public company under all circumstances. An equal percentage felt such structures may be appropriate in the presence of protections for low-vote shareholders. Only 5% supported this structure without limitations. … More
The New York Stock Exchange recently re-filed a proposal to permit direct listings, where private companies list a class of shares without an IPO or other registered offering. The rule change was likely prompted by apparent market interest in such a path to “going public” coupled with the NYSE’s belief that its rival, The Nasdaq Stock Market, already permits direct listings.
If approved by the SEC,… More
Effective today, July 10, 2017, the SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance will accept draft registration statements for review on a confidential basis from an expanded group of issuers. The confidential submission process, which was formerly limited to IPOs by emerging group companies, or EGCs, is now available to most issuers and also in conjunction with follow‑on offerings in the first year after the IPO or an initial listing on a stock exchange.… More
Investor advocates are turning the spotlight on the corporate governance practices of newly public companies that they regard as hostile to shareholder interests. In connection with their IPOs, most companies adopt customary defensive measures to protect themselves from activist investors, who might otherwise take advantage of their typically smaller market capitalizations to try to seize control of the company. These measures often include a classified board of directors, whose terms are staggered over three years. … More