New SEC Proposal To Modify Short Form Registration Statement Eligibility Requirements And Repeal Credit Rating-Based Eligibility For Public Offerings Of Non-Convertible Debt Securities

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As previously discussed in our August 17, 2010 blog posting “Registered Public Offerings Of Debt Securities And The Use Of Credit Ratings Information In SEC Filings After Dodd-Frank,” the practice of marketing registered public offerings of debt securities with credit ratings information and related disclosure of issuer credit ratings in SEC filings is undergoing changes mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”). On February 9, 2011, SEC commissioners voted unanimously to propose new eligibility requirements for short-form registration of public offerings of debt securities and related communications that will no longer be tied to an issuer’s credit rating from a nationally recognized statistical ratings organization, or NRSRO. If adopted as proposed, eligibility for offerings of non-convertible debt securities using short-form registration will be satisfied if the issuer has issued at least $1 billion of non-convertible securities in transactions registered under the Securities Act, other than equity securities, for cash during the past three years (as measured from a date within 60 days of the filing of the registration statement) and satisfies the other relevant requirements of Form S-3 or Form F-3.

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