The SEC in May proposed six measures to modernize and improve its capital-raising and reporting requirements for smaller companies. Many of the proposals address key recommendations made by the SEC’s Advisory Committee on Smaller Public Companies. They include:
A new system of securities regulation for smaller public
companies that would make scaled regulation available to a much larger
group of smaller public companies.
Modified eligibility requirements so companies with a public float below $75 million can take advantage of the benefits of shelf registration.
A new exemption from Securities Act registration requirements for sales of securities to a newly defined category of “qualified purchasers” in which limited advertising would be permitted.
Shortened holding periods under Securities Act Rule 144 for restricted securities to reduce the cost of capital and to increase access to capital.
New exemptions for compensatory employee stock options so Exchange Act registration requirements would not be triggered solely by a company’s compensation decisions.
Electronic filing of the form filed by companies making private or limited offerings to ease burdens for filers and make the information filed more readily available.
Comments on the proposals are due within 60 days of their publication in the Federal Register . Additional details about the proposals are available at www.sec.gov/news/press/2007/2007-102.htm.