Next SEC Chairman Can Prime IPO Pump
"They are coming up with a deadline in December for implementing their rules on crowdfunding," Kaplan says, "but their timeframes can be exceeded on a fairly regular basis. As far as hard time frames, the SEC has a lot of flexibility in complying or not complying with those time frames."
Kaplan adds that "for crowdfunding, my guess is you will see some delay, since there was a December deadline for some regulations," and the transition of SEC leadership from outgoing Chairman Mary Schapiro to current commission member Elisse Walter, "will slow things down."
The good news for the SEC leadership transition is that "there's not going to have to be an appointment and review process by the Senate" for Walter, who was previously confirmed by the Senate when she was appointed to the SEC, however, Walter's term as a commissioner ends in 2013, and it is not known if President Obama will designate her as the permanent Chairman, or whether Walter will agree to serve beyond 2013.
The "IPO Onramp" of the JOBS Act makes it much easier for small to mid-sized businesses to go public by relaxing for five years the reporting requirements for registered companies with annual revenue of less than $1 billion. Emerging companies are also allowed to do a "secret filing" in order to gauge interest and test the market for an IPO.
The good news for smaller companies looking to raise capital in the public markets is that this part of the legislation was effective immediately by statute.Michael Zuppone -- a partner in the Corporate practice of Paul Hastings in the firm's New York office -- says that the IPO Onramp "also reduced requirements with respect to required financial statements and compensation disclosures, which were considered an immediate benefit. There were some fairly immediate SEC staff interpretations. So that element of the JOBS act seems to be functioning, with the benefits envisioned by Congress making their way into the marketplace."
An SEC rule proposal on advertising IPOs.
As required under the JOBS Act, the SEC on Aug. 29 proposed rules to eliminate the ban against general solicitation for most public offerings, meaning that securities issuers will now be able to use public advertisements in newspapers or on the Internet to spur interest from investors, although the issuer will be required to take "reasonable steps to verify that the purchasers of the securities are accredited investors."
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