Category: Capital Markets

Canadian Cannabis Companies Begin to Trade on National Stock Exchanges in the United States

With the listing on May 24th of Canopy Growth Corporation (Canopy) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), both NASDAQ and the NYSE have permitted Canadian cannabis companies to trade on their respective exchanges. Canopy, the first Canadian cannabis company to list on the NYSE, follows Cronos Group Inc. (Cronos), which was the first Canadian cannabis company to list on a national stock exchange in the United States when it listed on NASDAQ in February. While neither exchange has formally adopted a policy on the listing of cannabis companies, informally they are willing, on a case-by-case basis, to accept a company with cannabis operations, so long as the company complies with all relevant...

SEC Issues New Cybersecurity Guidance

On February 26, the SEC published interpretive guidance to assist public companies in preparing disclosures about cybersecurity risks and incidents. The SEC’s new guidance reinforces and expands on its October 2011 guidance, emphasizing the importance of adopting sound cybersecurity policies and procedures and safeguards against insider trading in the event of a potentially material cybersecurity breach. Read more about the new guidance in our recent eUpdate: www.dorsey.com/newsresources/publications/client-alerts/2018/03/sec-issues-new-cybersecurity-guidance.

Status Check on the SEC’s Proposed Overhaul of the Mining Disclosure Regime (Part 2)

The SEC is aiming to finalize its new mining disclosure rules within the next year, according to statements made last week by William Hinman, Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, at the Securities Regulation Institute. For more details regarding the SEC’s original 2016 proposal to revamp the rules, and reactions by industry, see our summary of the initial proposal (here: www.dorsey.com/newsresources/publications/client-alerts/2016/07/new-mining-disclosure-rules) and our last blog post (here: crossbordercounselor.com/status-check-on-the-secs-proposed-overhaul-of-the-mining-disclosure-regime/).  

Status Check on the SEC’s Proposed Overhaul of the Mining Disclosure Regime

About 18 months have passed since the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published its bold attempt to modernize the disclosure requirements for mining companies that are listed on U.S. stock exchanges or otherwise report to the SEC. With final rules not yet adopted, the fight for a streamlined reporting regime continues. The SEC’s proposed overhaul was spawned by industry request – specifically, a request by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME), the leading professional society of mining professionals in the United States, that the SEC bring its disclosure requirements into the modern age and adopt a new disclosure regime based on the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO)...

Are Your Private Placement Documents Up To Date?

Over the last few years, many Canadian junior resource companies and startup companies have cut back on their legal spend, not necessarily undertaking a legal review of each new private placement of securities, or limiting their review to a Canadian one. Yet over this same time frame, the applicable U.S. rules and relevant interpretations have changed, and previously vetted forms may not be current. Indications that your U.S. law compliance practices in offering and selling securities could use a good scrub include the following: You don’t know the definition of a “foreign private issuer” or whether your company is one; You don’t know if your company has a “substantial U.S. market interest” in...

Regulation A+ May Become Available To SEC Reporting Issuers

On September 5, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed (by a vote of 403-3) the Improving Access to Capital Act. The Act directs the SEC to amend Regulation A+ to allow SEC reporting issuers to use Regulation A+ when raising capital, and to deem their SEC periodic reports to satisfy the periodic and current reporting requirements of Tier 2 of Regulation A+. The Act is now being considered by the U.S. Senate. If the Act becomes law, it will increase the alternatives available to SEC reporting companies in seeking additional capital. Smaller public companies that are not listed on Nasdaq or the NYSE, and are therefore subject to state securities regulation...

NYSE Rule Change For Dividends and Distributions

Readers listed on the NYSE will want to note a recent rule change. Effective immediately, notification of public announcements regarding dividends or stock distributions must be provided to the NYSE at least ten minutes prior to public release, even after market close. Read more in the post from our partner Jason Brenkert here: https://governancecomplianceinsider.com/nyse-rule-change-requires-ten-minutes-advance-notice-of-public-announcement-of-dividends-or-stock-distributions/

Interesting Facts About U.S. Private Placements

This week the SEC Division of Economic and Risk Analysis published a new report including a wealth of data regarding recent trends in public offerings and private placements of securities. The report includes a number of interesting facts about U.S. private placement practice, including: In the last few years, issuers have raised 2-3 times more capital through Regulation D than through Rule 144A. Rule 506(b) remains the most popular way to raise capital under Regulation D, with 97% of all funds raised under Rule 506 being raised under Rule 506(b), rather than the newer Rule 506(c), with issuers choosing not to take the additional steps required by Rule 506(c) to generally solicit investors. Only...

Compensation to Newsletter Writers Must Be Disclosed

On April 10, 2017, the SEC’s Division of Enforcement brought enforcement actions against 27 individuals and entities behind various alleged stock promotion schemes. These actions arose when public companies, through promoters or communications firms, hired newsletter writers to generate publicity for their securities without publicly disclosing that the writers were being paid. While it is not illegal to hire newsletter writers, Section 17(b) of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act) requires that newsletter writers fully disclose both the amount and the nature of the compensation received, including the dollar amount of a cash payment, the number of shares issued, or any other compensation. Additionally, newsletter writers and persons who adopt, approve or...

The Danger of Paying Finder’s Fees to Unregistered Broker-Dealers

We get asked from time-to-time whether it is advisable for issuers to pay fees to unregistered “finders” for introducing potential investors in the United States to the issuer in connection with securities offerings. The short answer is “no.” Most finders are engaged by issuers under finder’s, advisory, or other arrangements, which typically require payment of “success fees” upon completion of a financing transaction. While these arrangements are sometimes structured to try to hide or disguise the true intent of the arrangement, payment of transaction-based compensation is treated by U.S. securities regulators as a nearly-conclusive indication that a person is engaged in the securities business and should be registered as a broker-dealer. The relevant...