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SEC adopts new rules for SPACs

Written on Feb 9, 2024

The SEC has adopted new rules and amendments to enhance disclosures and provide additional investor protection in initial public offerings (IPOs) by special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) and in subsequent business combination transactions between SPACs and target companies (de-SPAC transactions). 

The new rules and amendments require, among other things, enhanced disclosures about conflicts of interest, SPAC sponsor compensation, dilution, and other information that is important to investors in SPAC IPOs and de-SPAC transactions. The rules also require registrants to provide additional information about the target company to investors that will help investors make more informed voting and investment decisions in connection with a de-SPAC transaction. 

The rules more closely align the required disclosures and legal liabilities that may be incurred in de-SPAC transactions with those in traditional IPOs. For example, in certain situations, the rules require the target company to sign a registration statement filed by a SPAC (or another shell company) in connection with a de-SPAC transaction. This would make the target company a “co-registrant” and assume responsibility for disclosures in that registration statement. In addition, the rules make the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 safe harbor from liability for forward-looking statements unavailable to certain blank check companies, including SPACs. 

In connection with de-SPAC transactions, the rules include disclosure requirements related to projections, including disclosure of all material bases of the projections and all material assumptions underlying the projections. The rules also update and expand guidance on the use of projections in all SEC filings. 

The rules will become effective 125 days after publication in the Federal Register. Compliance with the structured data requirements, which require tagging of information disclosed pursuant to new subpart 1600 of Regulation S-K in Inline XBRL, will be required 490 days after publication of the rules in the Federal Register. 

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