Video webinar: Testing the waters with Regulation A+ is similar to conventional IPO

Our Bloomberg / Vintage educational webcast on the similarities and differences between the RegA+ and time-tested IPO processes was extremely well attended – and rightly so. Our experts brought their best.This video snippet is an example.

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Their insight and counsel is very straight-forward which is extremely useful in context to the semi-undefined Reg A+ atmosphere we’re current breathing.

“Testing the waters is really one of the great, great feature of Regulation A+ It allows an issuer to reach out to its potential base of investors to solicit interest in the offering at any time before you go effective with the SEC. And that includes before filing any offering circular with the SEC.”

~ Gary Emmanuel, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery

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Reg A+’s Testing the Waters provision allows a Tier II issuer to first canvas the capital market to see whether there is satisfactory investor interest prior the deep dive and full commitment of a securities offering.

It can be a very flexible program, however there are strict guidelines in place to protect investors:

  • Issuers can Test the Waters by oral or written communications discussing potential the offering with potential investors, both before and after filing Form 1-A with all supporting materials filed as exhibits to Form 1-A.
  • All solicitation materials must include a legend (see below), and must be preceded or accompanied by the Offering Circular after public filing.
  • Testing the Waters communications are considered offers of securities and are subject to anti-fraud provisions of securities laws.
  • Solicitation materials must be included in the Offering Circular and be publicly available to the entire population of prospective investors: nonaccredited as well as accredited investors (note: Tier II offerings have protective limits on nonaccredited investors).
  • Issuers may solicit interest via social media like Twitter by including an active hyperlink to the Offering Circular to satisfy the requirements of applicable securities laws.
  • Issuers may advertise on their own, without a broker/dealer and may target selective investors: ie sector-based based, etc.

All Testing the Waters communications must include a Legend stating that:

  • No money or other consideration is being solicited or accepted.
  • Offers to buy the securities cannot be accepted, and no part of the purchase price can be received until the Form 1-A is qualified and any offer can be withdrawn or revoked at any time before notice of its acceptance is given after the qualification date.
  • That an indication of interest involves no obligation or commitment of any kind.
  • Contacts of a person from whom the preliminary OC can be obtained, a preliminary URL to access the Offering Circular, or copy of the document (only required in Testing the Waters communications made after a Form 1-A has been filed).

Our experts:

GARY EMMANUEL, PARTNER, MCDERMOTT WILL & EMERY

Mr.Gary Emmanuel focuses his practice on corporate securities matters.  With over 15 years of experience, Mr. Emmanuel represents both domestic and foreign companies that are navigating the process of capital raising, including initial public offerings, registered direct offerings, follow-on offerings, private placements, private investment in public equities (PIPEs) and bridge financings. He has worked extensively with biotechnology and other life science companies, both as company counsel and as underwriter’s counsel.  He advises companies on issues relating to disclosure, periodic reporting, corporate governance, American Depositary Receipt (ADR) programs, and the rules of the NYSE MKT, NYSE and NASDAQ. He also counsels companies in a wide variety of corporate transactions including licensing, reverse mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures.  Mr. Emmanuel previously served in the Military Court of Appeals of the Israel Defense Forces during his army service and holds the military rank of legal officer.

Mr.Emmanuel is admitted to practice in New York and Israel.  He earned his LLB, with honors, from Queen Mary University of London and his LLM from Yeshiva University – Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

DAVID ETHRIDGE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, DEALS & U.S. IPO SERVICES LEADER, PWC

Mr.David Ethridge is the Managing Director in the firm’s Deals practice and U.S. IPO Services leader. He helps PwC clients prepare for accessing the equity capital markets through an IPO, advising them throughout the life of the IPO process, from pre-IPO readiness assessment to planning, the offering process, potential pitfalls and challenges and beyond.

Mr.Ethridge is a veteran IPO professional with more than 25 years of experience built around the equity capital markets, advising clients to globally on their plans to access the U.S. equity markets via IPOs, follow-on offerings, Convertibles, registered direct, and PIPEs. Prior to his role at PwC, he led the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Capital Markets practice for five years, a role which follows 20 years of experience in investment banking. Under his leadership, the NYSE became the overall leader both in the U.S. and globally for IPOs, most notably in the technology sector. Throughout his career, he has advised and executed over 100 IPOs; including helping execute the largest IPO in history when he was leading the NYSE team.

Mr.Ethridge received a M.B.A from Harvard Business School and a B.A. in economics from Davidson College.

GORDON RUCKDESCHEL, VICE PRESIDENT, OPERATIONS,  VINTAGE, A DIVISION OF PR NEWSWIRE

Mr. Gordon Ruckdeschel has over twenty years of experience in the mutual fund and EDGAR/financial services industry.  He currently manages Operations for Vintage (a division of PR Newswire), including the full service EDGAR, XBRL, typesetting and print capabilities across Vintage’s three practice areas (Capital Markets, Corporate Services and Funds & Institutional Services).  Previously, Mr. Ruckdeschel headed up the organization’s Investment and Structured Finance account team.  He is continually learning and managing new projects, most recently working with staff and clients on Regulation A+ filings.

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