Tag Archives: SEC Division of Corporation Finance

Say farewell to the conflict minerals case, Nat’l Ass’n of Mfrs. v. SEC

by Cydney Posner

The parties to the conflict minerals case have filed in the D.C. District Court a “Joint Status Report,” which requests that the Court enter a final judgment in accordance with the decision of the Court of Appeals.  As a result, it will be case closed for National Association of Manufacturers v. SEC, which decided that the requirement in the conflict minerals rule to disclose whether companies’ products were “not found to be DRC conflict free” violated companies’ First Amendment rights.    Continue reading

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SEC continues to grant no-action relief in connection with proxy access fix-it proposals

by Cydney Posner

The SEC has posted a number of additional Corp Fin responses to requests for no-action, as well as to requests for reconsideration of previous denials of relief, regarding shareholder proposals to amend proxy access bylaws, so-called “fix-it” proposals. In all cases, the companies argued that they should be permitted to exclude the fix-it proposals as “substantially implemented” under Rule 14a-8(i)(10). The requests were successful in obtaining no-action relief in all cases except one. As in the past, the staff has not identified the key determining factor, but companies now seem to have found a formula for successfully excluding these proposals. Continue reading

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Another theory on Corp Fin’s position on proxy access fix-it proposals

by Cydney Posner

Corp Fin has refined its position with regard to exclusion of proposals to amend existing proxy access bylaws.  However, the basis for the staff’s determination to grant or refuse no-action relief in that context remains a conundrum.
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Corp Fin refines its position on proxy access fix-it proposals (updated)

by Cydney Posner

Corp Fin has refined its position with regard to exclusion of proposals to amend existing proxy access bylaws.  As you may recall, the line drawn so far by Corp Fin has been that, where the shareholder proposal related to initial adoption of proxy access, Corp Fin has continued to grant no-action relief and permit exclusion of proxy access proposals as “substantially implemented” under Rule 14a-8(i)(10), so long as the bylaw provisions adopted by the companies contained the same eligibility percentage and duration of ownership thresholds (3%/3 years) as in the proposal, even though the bylaws also included  a number of “procedural limitations or restrictions that were inconsistent with or not contemplated by the proposals.”  However, with regard to shareholder proposals to amend a company’s existing proxy access bylaw — so-called “fix-it” proposals — the staff had refused to grant no-action relief on that same basis. Meanwhile, both proponents and companies have been exploring the contours of those staff positions, trying to determine how best to advance their opposing arguments. (See this PubCo postthis PubCo post and this PubCo post.) In a series of no-action letters recently posted, Corp Fin has permitted exclusion of some fix-it proposals under Rule 14a-8(a)(i)(10) on the basis that the proposals have been “substantially implemented,” but denied relief for others. Although the staff’s rationale is far from exquisitely clear, nevertheless, companies seeking to exclude fix-it proposals at least now have some successful models on which to base their requests. (For another theory, see this PubCo post.) Continue reading

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Corp Fin suggests it will take a look at non-GAAP disclosure practices in the pharmaceutical industry

by Cydney Posner

Even important industry players can sometimes run up against brick walls at Corp Fin. In a recent give-and-take with the SEC, Allergan was scolded for its use of certain non-GAAP financial measures in its press releases.  While in its responses to the staff, the company cogently explained its reasoning, the staff did not ultimately agree with company’s view, putting to the test one of the staff’s most recent CDIs regarding performance versus liquidity per-share measures. Moreover, in conversations with the staff, the company apparently conveyed the impression that the practice disfavored by the staff was widely followed in its industry group, leading the staff to caution that it plans to evaluate practices in the pharmaceutical industry. Companies in that industry may want to pay attention. Continue reading

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Corp Fin posts new CDI related to integration under Reg D

by Cydney Posner

More CDIs from the Corp Fin, one of which, described below, relates to integration under Reg D. There are also three new CDIs relating to Reg A, new 182.12, new 182.13 and new 182.14Continue reading

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New CDIs regarding registration fees and Form S-8

by Cydney Posner

More new CDIs from Corp Fin, some relating to Form S-8 and the computation of registration fees under Rule 457: Continue reading

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Filed under Executive Compensation, Securities