Topic: Disclosure Requirements

SEC Proposes Further Relief for Low Revenue Smaller Reporting Companies

On May 9, 2019, the SEC proposed rule changes to the disclosure requirements for smaller reporting companies (SRCs).  Last year, the SEC expanded the number of companies that qualify for scaled disclosure accommodations under SEC rules by increasing the public float and revenue caps in the SRC definition (from $75 million up to $250 million of public float or up to $700 million of public float with $100 million or less in revenues).

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SEC Proposes Changes to Disclosures for Acquisitions and Dispositions

On May 3, 2019, the SEC proposed rule amendments to financial information that investors receive regarding the acquisition and disposition of businesses.  The SEC’s rules requiring target company and pro forma financial statements are complex.  Creating the financial statements often results in significant delay and expense in M&A situations.  The SEC’s proposed changes are intended to address these difficulties.

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Corp Fin Issues Guidance on How to Redact Your Material Contracts Without Filing a Confidential Treatment Request

Late last month we blogged about rule amendments adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission that are intended to modernize and simplify disclosure requirements for public companies, including an amendment that allows registrants to redact confidential information from most exhibits without filing a confidential treatment request.

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The SEC Modernizes and Simplifies Disclosure

On March 20, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted amendments to modernize and simplify disclosure requirements for public companies, investment advisers, and investment companies.  The amendments, consistent with the SEC’s mandate under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, are based on recommendations in the staff’s FAST Act Report as well as a broader review of the Commission’s disclosure rules.

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Disclosure Violations Arising from Operational Wrongdoing

The recent SEC enforcement action against Volkswagen AG and its former CEO illustrates the ‎securities law consequences of operational wrongdoing.‎ ‎ As described by the SEC, from at least ‎‎2007 through 2015, Volkswagen sold “clean diesel” cars while concealing their emissions ‎problems through use of an undisclosed defeat device.

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SEC Issues New C&DIs Regarding Disclosure of Board Qualifications and Diversity Characteristics

On February 6, 2019, the SEC staff issued two new identical C&DIs that apply to Item 401 of Regulation S-K, Question 116.11, and Item 407 of Regulation S-K, Question 133.13.  The new interpretation provides guidance on disclosure when a director or a director nominee voluntarily provide self-identified diversity characteristics, such as their race, gender, ethnicity, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or cultural background, and the director or nominee has consented to disclosure of these diversity characteristics.

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CorpFin Provides Relief on Effectiveness of “Disclosure Simplification” Rules

As discussed in more detail in our QuickStudy (available here), on August 17, 2018 the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) adopted numerous amendments to its disclosure requirements that were intended to simplify compliance for issuers by eliminating certain redundant, overlapping, outdated or superseded disclosure requirements (the “Disclosure Simplification Rules”).

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