Category: Capital Markets

SEC Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Disclosures and Other Matters

On March 25, the SEC issued CF Disclosure Guidance Topic No. 9 that provides the Division of Corporation Finance’s current views regarding disclosure and other securities law obligations that companies should consider with respect to COVID-19 and related business and market disruptions. In the guidance, the SEC recognizes that it may be difficult to assess...

New SEC Proposed Amendments Seek to Improve and Harmonize Private Offering Exemptions

On March 4, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) proposed amendments to the private offering exemptive framework under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) to “simplify, harmonize, and improve certain aspects of the framework” with the goal of promoting capital formation while maintaining investor protections. The current private offering...

SEC Seeks to Encourage Registered Debt Offerings by Amending Financial Statement Requirements

On March 2, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted amendments to the financial disclosure requirements applicable to registered debt offerings that include credit enhancements, such as subsidiary guarantees. The final amendments amend Rule 3-10 of Regulation S-X and partially relocate its provisions to new Rule 13-01 and completely relocate Rule 3-16 into new Rule 13-02...

SEC Reminds Companies of Disclosure Obligations Relating to Coronavirus

In connection with the order issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 4 providing filing relief for companies that are affected by the coronavirus, the Commission reminded all companies to be vigilant regarding their disclosure obligations related to the evolving coronavirus scenario. A company’s assessment of, and plans for addressing, material risks to...

New Disclosure Requirements for OTCQB Quoted Issuers

Issuers quoted on the OTCQB are now required to promptly disclose the issuance of any promissory notes, convertible notes, convertible debentures, or any other debt instruments that may be converted into a class of the issuer’s equity securities. In addition, OTCQB issuers are now required to promptly post copies on the OTC Disclosure & News...

How to Avoid Being Required to Obtain Audit Partner Consents

SEC registration statements and certain annual reports require consents of experts (e.g., technical experts, audit firms, and investment banks that provide fairness opinions) named in the disclosure document. A recent development in Canada is that audit partners are now named in audit reports filed with audited financial statements. From an SEC perspective, the naming of...

Stock Price Flexibility on the NYSE American

Many of our Canadian clients have decided to list their stock in the United States on the NYSE American exchange, instead of Nasdaq. Why? Stock price flexibility is a big factor. In Canada, it’s considered perfectly normal for a company to have stock with a price of $2, $1, $0.50 or even $0.10 per share....

What Cross-listed Canadian Companies Need to Know About the Impact of the U.S. Government Shutdown on SEC Operations

As a result of the partial U.S. government shutdown that began on December 22, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), one of nine federal agencies affected, recently published its Operations Plan Under a Lapse in Appropriations and Government Shutdown (sec.gov/files/sec-plan-of-operations-during-lapse-in-appropriations-2018.pdf), which went into effect on December 27, 2018. The Operations Plan offers important...

The SEC’s Recent Settlement with Tesla and Elon Musk Teaches Us a Valuable Corporate Governance Lesson

The SEC’s settlement with Tesla and Elon Musk teaches us some important corporate governance lessons on monitoring and vetting executive use of social media. As background, on August 7, 2018, the markets were surprised by a series of tweets initiated by Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, Inc., in which Musk mused about taking Tesla...