米国証券取引委員会職員のコメントTop 10

 Ernst & Youngによると米国証券取引委員会の職員は、定期的に年次報告書等にコメント(質問)をしてきます。最近、質問事項が多いのは、次の点に対するもののようです。

  1. Non-GAAP financial measures
  2. Management’s discussion and analysis
  3. Revenue recognition
  4. Segment reporting
  5. Fair value measurements
  6. Intangible assets and goodwill
  7. Contingencies
  8. Inventory and cost of sales
  9. Income taxes
  10. Signatures/exhibits/agreements  

 開示事項としての重要性や虚偽記載の発生しやすさを反映しているように思えます。

via The Corporate Counsel, Ernst & Young

Salzberg v. Sciabacucchi, 2020 Del. LEXIS 100 (Del. Mar. 18, 2020)

RLF writes:

In the highly anticipated decision of Salzberg v. Sciabacucchi, No. 346, 2019 (Del. Mar. 18, 2020), the Delaware Supreme Court, reversing the Delaware Court of Chancery’s decision, confirmed the facial validity of provisions in the certificates of incorporation of Blue Apron Holdings, Inc., Stitch Fix, Inc., and Roku, Inc. requiring all claims under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “’33 Act”) to be brought in federal courts (“Federal Forum Provisions”). Similar provisions have been adopted by dozens of Delaware corporations and are intended to address the inefficiencies of multi-jurisdictional ’33 Act litigation in light of the increasing number of ’33 Act claims filed in state, rather than federal, courts.

via Richards, Layton & Finger

See also Opinion

United States v. Blaszczak, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 38662, 2019 WL 7289753 (2d Cir. Dec. 30, 2019)

The court held that the “personal benefit” test for insider trading established by the Supreme Court in Dirks v. SEC does not apply to wire and securities fraud under Title 18 of the U.S. Code. Additionally, the court held that confidential government information constitutes “property” for the purposes of federal fraud statutes. The ruling will make it easier for the government to prosecute insider trading even when there is no clear benefit to the source who provided the information. (footnote omitted)

via TheCorporateCounsel.net, GD&C, S&C, Milbank, Akin Gump, WF&G, Andrew Vollmer, Alison Frankel, John C. Coffee Jr.

Insider Trading Prohibition Act

 Insider Trading Prohibition Actなる法律が米国の連邦下院を通過したらしいです。この手の法律は、散発的に提案されるので、気に留めていなかったのですが、下院の投票が410対13という情報を得て、少し調べてみました。govtrack.usによると法律として成立する可能性は、1%程度のようです。一応、調べた範囲内で有用だと思ったリンクを纏めておきます。

 改正法案の内容は、既存の判例法理を基礎にしたものなので、ある程度意図を理解できるのですが、細かい点で既存の判例法理との差異がありそうです。印象としては、判例法理よりも禁止の幅が広いように思えます。どうでしょうか。

See also Columbia, CGS&H, Paul Hastings, Merritt B. Fox

Regulation S-XのRules 3-05及び Article 11の改正提案

The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed amendments to the financial disclosure requirements in Rules 3-05, 3-14, and Article 11 of Regulation S-X, as well as related rules and forms, for financial statements of businesses acquired or to be acquired and for business dispositions. The Commission also proposed new Rule 6-11 of Regulation S-X and amendments to Form N-14 for financial reporting of acquisitions involving investment companies.

When a registrant acquires a significant business, other than a real estate operation, Rule 3-05 of Regulation S-X generally requires a registrant to provide separate audited annual and unaudited interim pre-acquisition financial statements of that business. The number of years of financial information that must be provided depends on the relative significance of the acquisition to the registrant. Similarly, Rule 3-14 of Regulation S-X addresses the unique nature of real estate operations and requires a registrant that has acquired a significant real estate operation to file financial statements with respect to such acquired operation.

 わが国で米国証券取引委員会への登録が強制されるのは、様式F–4による組織再編に関するものだというワーキング・ペーパーを書いたことがありますが、それとの関係で、今回の規則提案は、実務に影響を与えるように思えます。

Lorenzo v. Securities and Exchange Commission, 587 U.S. —, 2019 WL 1369839 (Mar. 27, 2019)

In this case, we consider whether those who do not ‘make’ statements (as Janus defined ‘make’), but who disseminate false or misleading statements to potential investors with the intent to defraud, can be found to have violated the other parts of Rule 10b–5, subsections (a) and (c), as well as related provisions of the securities laws, §10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 48Stat. 891, as amended, 15 U.S.C. §78j(b), and §17(a)(1) of the Securities Act of 1933, 48Stat. 84–85, as amended, 15 U.S.C. §77q(a)(1). We believe that they can.

  • Kavanaugh裁判官は、下級審の判決に参加しているため不参加。6対2で、原審を維持。

via Lyle Roberts, Kevin M. LaCroix, Sheppard Mullin, SCOTUSblog, Oyez, Fried Frank, Reuters, Cleary Gottlieb, Ropes & Gray, WSJ, Skadden, Willkie Farr & Gallagher, S&C, GD&C

Barbara A. Bliss et al., Negative Activism, 97 Washington University Law Review (forthcoming)

  • Barbara A. Bliss et al., Negative Activism, 97 Washington University Law Review (forthcoming)

Shareholder activism has become one of the most important and widely studied topics in law and finance. To date, popular and academic accounts have focused on what we call “positive activism,” where activists seek to profit from positive changes in the share prices of targeted firms. In this Article, we undertake the first comprehensive study of positive activism’s mirror image, which we term “negative activism.” Whereas positive activists focus on increasing share prices, negative activists take short positions to profit from decreasing share prices.

via Harvard

附属定款中の強制仲裁条項

 米国で 附属定款の中に強制的な仲裁条項を置くということについて、議論が活発になっています。

 この議論は、比較法の検討としても興味深いです。また、比較法の論点に加えて、会社法や金商法の強行法規性の問題として捉えれば、より本格的な論文のテーマにもなりうるように思います。

 また、この議論は、Sciabacucchi v. SalzbergCyan Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fundの影響もあるようで、複眼的に捉えると米国の法制度の特徴が明らかになって面白いように思えます。

via SEC, Jay Clayton, Cooley, Alison Frankel, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, Allen & Overy, Cooley