UPDATE: SEC Adopts Streamlined Process for CTR Extensions

Just hours after our recent blog post regarding the need to use the traditional process for CTR extensions, the SEC announced the adoption of a new streamlined process for CTR extensions.

This streamlined process requires the submission of a one-page application by which a company can affirm that the most recently considered CTR application continues to be true, complete and accurate regarding the information for which the company continues to seek confidential treatment.  … More

Trap for the unwary: you still need to renew confidential treatment requests filed under the old rules

A confidential treatment order for information redacted from an exhibit is about to expire. Under SEC rules that took effect last week (see our prior blog posts here  and here), public companies can now redact the same type of information without prior SEC review, so the company doesn’t have to do anything, right?

Wrong.  The SEC has confirmed that its new rules for the redaction of confidential information from certain exhibits do not automatically extend orders for confidential treatment granted under the traditional application process.… More

SEC staff issues additional guidance on exhibit redactions

The SEC staff has issued supplemental guidance regarding its new rules for the redaction of confidential information from certain exhibits, which take effect today. See our blog post here for more detail on the new rules.

Consistent with prior practice, a company redacting information from a material contract must:

  • note in the exhibit list that portions of the exhibit have been omitted;…
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SEC continues its disclosure simplification initiative

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.…
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Possible expansion of “Testing the Waters” for Securities Offerings

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.[1]  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

Protect your Rule 10b5-1 plans from attack: best practices

Some regulators and investors are expressing concerns about abuse of Rule 10b5-1 plans.  Last July, Representative Maxine Waters introduced the “Promoting Transparency Standards for Corporate Insiders Act,” which would require the SEC to study whether Rule 10b5-1 should be amended to restricted multiple plans, require a waiting period before making trades under a plan, and limit how often plans can be modified or canceled.  In December,… More

And the beat goes on . . . Nasdaq comments on the shutdown

Proving that where there’s a will, there’s a way, the U.S. capital markets continue to push forward as the political stalemate at the heart of the federal government shutdown continues.  A temporary solution to the shutdown appears to be at hand but in the spirit of “then what?” we want to keep you up to date.  Acknowledging the obstacles created by its inability to review registration statements and declare them effective during the course of the shutdown,… More

Cybersecurity 2019 — The Year in Preview: Cryptocurrency and SEC Enforcement

In our 2018 SEC year in preview post, we called attention to an expected increase in SEC cybersecurity enforcement action.  The SEC has certainly lived up to the billing throughout 2018, which was the first full year in existence for the SEC’s new Cyber Unit.  In particular, the Cyber Unit and the SEC’s Enforcement Division focused on three types of enforcement actions:  (1) stopping unregistered and/or fraudulent trading of digital assets,… More

Public offerings may continue, despite SEC shutdown.

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

2019 10-K and Proxy Season: A couple of reminders

During this ever-lengthening government shutdown, it’s easy to forget that 2018 was a big year for changes to the SEC’s disclosure regime, which companies will need to keep in mind as they prepare their 2019 10-Ks and proxy statements.  In particular, in August, the SEC adopted its Disclosure Updates and Simplification rules, which eliminated some duplicative, outdated and  overlapping disclosure requirements (see our post here), and in June it adopted amendments to the smaller reporting company definition,… More