April 15, 2015

NASAA Proposes to Exempt Certain M&A Brokers

As noted in this memo, a few months ago, NASAA requested comments on a proposed uniform state model rule regarding the exemption of certain M&A Brokers from state registration requirements. This proposal has key differences from a Corp Fin no-action letter issued on the same topic last year. Here’s an excerpt from the memo:

There are some important differences between the Model Rule and the SEC No-Action Letter. First, as noted above, the Model Rule would impose limitations on the size of the acquired privately held company (either $25 million in earnings or $250 million in gross revenues), whereas the SEC No-Action Letter allows M&A Brokers to effect securities transactions without regard to the size of the privately held company. Second, the Model Rule would only require that the M&A Broker have a reasonable belief that the buyer of the privately held company will control and be actively involved in its management. By contrast, the SEC No-Action Letter requires that the buyer must actually control and actively operate the privately held company. Third, the requisite “control” of a privately held company under the Model Rule means at least a 20% voting interest in the company, whereas the SEC No-Action Letter raises the “control” threshold to at least a 25% voting interest.