Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced bipartisan legislation that would strengthen financial markets by reducing the risk of companies contemplating going public. The Encouraging Public Offerings Act of 2018 would encourage capital formation by making initial public offerings (IPOs) more attractive.
“IPOs give companies crucial access to our capital markets, and yield the potential to create thousands of jobs. When private companies consider going public, we should be doing everything possible to make this process easy and to encourage it, without jeopardizing investor protections,” said Senator Tillis. “It’s imperative that Americans have the opportunity to invest their savings and retirement funds wisely, and having more IPOs is important in helping folks save for retirement. This bipartisan legislation will reduce unnecessary red-tape and encourage these companies to continue to grow.”
“Many emerging businesses find that the process of going public is too complex and expensive. This legislation creates a streamlined process for startups that provides the flexibility they need to grow and prosper,” said Senator Van Hollen. “The Encouraging Public Offerings Act will help spur innovation and improve efficiency in the market, bringing more opportunity for businesses to grow across the country and throughout Maryland. I’m pleased to join Senator Tillis in introducing this common-sense legislation to help small businesses thrive.”
Companion legislation, H.R. 3903, unanimously passed the House of Representatives on November 1, 2017.
The Encouraging Public Offerings Act of 2018 expands certain provisions of Title I of the JOBS Act, which previously only applied to Emerging Growth Companies, to apply to all public companies. Specifically, the legislation allows issuers to submit to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for confidential review before publicly filing draft registration statements for IPOs and for follow-on offerings within one year of an IPO. Additionally, the bill allows all companies to meet with qualified institutional buyers and other institutional accredited investors prior to an offering to gauge those investors’ interest in the offering.