Originally Published in Law360, March 21, 2012.
Building on months of momentum in Congress, on March 8, 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act by a bipartisan vote of 390-23. A similar bill, S. 1933, has been introduced in the Senate and may be voted on this month. The JOBS Act is intended to address the sharp decline in U.S. public offerings during the last decade and to facilitate capital raising by smaller companies.
The provisions of the JOBS Act will, if enacted, represent a watershed change to the laws and regulations governing capital raising for private companies and would create a limited, temporary and scaled regulatory compliance pathway, referred to as an “IPO on-ramp,” for companies going public and newly public companies. The IPO on-ramp is designed to reduce the costs and uncertainties of accessing public capital.
Inspired from the work of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Access to Capital Conference in March 2011 and the recommendation of a group called the IPO Task Force, congressional action has been gaining momentum, culminating in the passage by the House of the JOBS Act.
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