Posts tagged Securities Law.

On May 3, 2019 the SEC proposed amendments to Regulation S-X to simplify financial disclosure requirements for public companies relating to acquisitions and dispositions of businesses.  Among other changes, the amendments would modify the significance tests applicable to acquisitions as set forth in Rule 3-05 of Regulation S-X, which sets forth the number of years of financial statements of the acquired business that must be filed with the SEC. Specifically, the proposal would amend (i) the investment test to require a comparison of a company’s investment in an acquired ...

On April 2, 2019, the SEC adopted new rules allowing for the filing of redacted material contracts without the need to apply for confidential treatment.  The rules, included in Item 601(b) of Regulation S-K, provide that information contained in material contracts may be redacted, provided the redacted information (i) is not material and (ii) would be competitively harmful if publicly disclosed.  In order to properly redact such information, companies must comply with specific requirements, including marking the exhibit index of the filing to indicate that portions of a contract ...

The Securities and Exchange Commission voted on March 20, 2019 to adopt amendments to certain disclosure requirements for public companies. These amendments are intended to modernize and simplify disclosure requirements and make it easier for investors to access and analyze material information. Other expected benefits are lower costs and burdens on companies, improved readability and navigability of disclosure documents and reduced repetition of immaterial information.

Some of the disclosure simplifications include the following:

Rule

Summary Description of Amended ...

With 2018 behind us, it is time to look ahead to the 2019 reporting season. This advisory highlights some of the changes, new rules, and “best practices” from 2018 that SEC reporting companies will need to address in 2019.

On September 29, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced that CEO and Chairman of Tesla, Elon Musk, had agreed to settle securities fraud charges brought by the SEC and that Tesla had agreed to settle SEC charges that it failed to have required disclosure controls and procedures covering Mr. Musk’s tweets.

On August 17, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) finalized a series of amendments to its rules and forms with the aim of reducing redundant and outdated disclosure requirements for public companies. Although many of the modifications simply “clean up” references and cross-references that have become outdated due to changes in accounting terminology or other revisions to the SEC’s forms and rules, several of the amendments do serve to remove certain disclosure requirements previously required by the SEC. The summary below outlines those modifications that may be of significance to public companies.

On September 21, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued interpretive guidance on the CEO pay ratio rule. Simultaneously, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance issued guidance on calculation of the pay ratio and updated C&DIs related to the new guidance. Together, these issuances strongly suggest that the SEC is not modifying or deferring the effectiveness of the rule and that it will be in place for the upcoming 2018 proxy season.

Beginning on July 10, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Division of Corporation Finance will accept nonpublic draft registration statements from all issuers relating to IPOs and initial registrations under Section 12(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”).

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has adopted new rules making it easier for investors to find exhibits to an issuer’s public filings. Currently, issuers submit electronic filings to the SEC using the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system (“EDGAR”), which include exhibits that are incorporated by reference to earlier filings. Investors are therefore required to search through earlier filings in order to find these exhibits, such as material contracts, articles of incorporation, and other material documents.

Protecting and encouraging whistleblowers has been a priority for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and its enforcement division. The SEC recently announced enforcement actions against two companies for their use of restrictive language in severance agreements that required departing employees to waive their rights to any monetary recovery under Rule 21F-17 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). The rule, promulgated under the Dodd-Frank Act, is part of the SEC’s whistleblower program and is intended to prohibit employers from interfering with an employee’s right to report potential securities law violations to the SEC.

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