Advantages and Disadvantages of a Reverse Merger
LawCast- Advantages and Disadvantages of a Reverse Merger Transaction. Part 5 of The Reverse Merger Transaction Series.
The primary advantage of a reverse merger is that it can be completed very quickly. As long as the private entity has its “ducks in a row,” a reverse merger can be completed as quickly as the attorneys can complete the paperwork. Having your “ducks in a row” includes having completed audited financial statements for the prior two fiscal years and quarters up to date (or from inception if the company is less than two years old), and having the information that will be necessary to file with the SEC readily available. The SEC requires that a public company file Form 10 type information on the private entity within four days of completing the reverse merger transaction (a super 8-K). Upon completion of the reverse merger transaction and filing of the Form 10 information, the once private company is now public. The reverse merger transaction itself is not a capital-raising transaction, and accordingly, most private entities complete a capital-raising transaction (such as a PIPE) simultaneously with or immediately following the reverse merger, but it is certainly not required. In addition, many Companies engage in capital restructuring (such as a reverse split) and a name change either prior to or immediately following a reverse merger, but again, it is not required.
There are several disadvantages of a reverse merger. The primary disadvantage is the restriction on the use of Rule 144 where the public company is or ever has been a shell company. Rule 144 is unavailable for the use by shareholders of any company that is or was at any time previously a shell company unless certain conditions are met. In order to use Rule 144, a company must have ceased to be a shell company; be subject to the reporting requirements of section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act; filed all reports and other materials required to be filed by section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, as applicable, during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Issuer was required to file such reports and materials), other than Form 8-K reports; and have filed current “Form 10 information” with the Commission reflecting its status as an entity that is no longer a shell company, then those securities may be sold subject to the requirements of Rule 144 after one year has elapsed from the date that the Issuer filed “Form 10 information” with the SEC.