A bipartisan group of senators has introduced a new bill, the Fostering Innovation Act of 2019 (S. 452), that would amend SOX to provide a temporary exemption from the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404(b) for low-revenue issuers, such as biotechs. The bill is designed to help those EGCs that will lose their exemptions from SOX 404(b) five years after their IPOs, but still do not report much revenue. For those companies, proponents contend, the auditor attestation requirement is time-consuming and expensive, diverting capital from other critical uses, such as R&D. According to the press release, the bill would provide “a very narrow fix that temporarily extends the Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404(b) exemption for an additional five years for a small subset of EGCs with annual average revenue of less than $50 million and less than $700 million in public float.” I know it’s Valentine’s Day, but does it also feel a bit like Groundhog Day? That’s because, in 2016, the House passed the Fostering Innovation Act of 2015—the very same bill. That bill went nowhere, but the question is: have we now reached an inflection point for SOX 404(b)?
Corp Fin supplements information regarding expanded process for confidential filing of IPO registration statements
Yesterday, the SEC supplemented the information in its June 29 announcement regarding its expanded draft registration statement processing procedures, which allowed companies that were not emerging growth companies to file confidentially. The supplement relates to availability of the process and transition matters. The announcement also indicates that companies may submit questions about their eligibility to use the expanded processing procedures to CFDraftPolicy@sec.gov.
Corp Fin posts FAQs regarding extension of process for confidential submission of draft registration statements
On June 29, Corp Fin announced that it was extending the process for confidential submission of draft registration statements, currently available only for IPOs of emerging growth companies, to IPOs of companies that are not EGCs, as well as for most follow-on offerings made in the first year after going public. The extension of this confidential process will allow more companies to defer the public disclosure of sensitive or competitive information until they are almost ready to market the offering—and potentially to avoid the public disclosure altogether if they ultimately decide not to proceed with the offering. The new process will become available on July 10, 2017. (See this PubCo post.) Subsequently, Corp Fin issued a series of FAQs to provide additional guidance.
…submit a confidential draft registration statement for IPOs, as well as for most offerings made in the first year after going public, Corp Fin announced yesterday. Until now, that beneficial process, first permitted by the JOBS Act, has been available only to emerging growth companies. The extension of this confidential process will allow more companies to defer the public disclosure of sensitive or competitive information until they are almost ready to market the offering—and potentially to avoid the public disclosure altogether if they ultimately decide not to proceed with the offering. According to the press release, the change “will provide companies with more flexibility to plan their offering. The nonpublic review process after the IPO reduces the potential for lengthy exposure to market fluctuations that can adversely affect the offering process and harm existing public shareholders. By requiring a public filing period prior to the launch of marketing, the process incorporates a feature of the EGC review process that provides an opportunity for the public to evaluate those offerings.” The new process will become available on July 10, 2017.
by Cydney Posner The SEC has adopted a number of inflation-related adjustments under the JOBS Act, including an adjustment to the revenue cap in the definition of “emerging growth company,” as well as adjustments to the dollar amounts in Reg Crowdfunding. A number of technical amendments were also adopted to […]
New House bills seek to relax some SEC requirements and help reverse the growth in income inequality
by Cydney Posner Hat tip to thecorporatecounsel.net blog for identifying these two new House bills. H.R. 5405, Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act, is intended to relax some additional requirements for Emerging Growth Companies (EGCs), and has been passed by the House. It has some good stuff In […]