Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 110
This staff accounting bulletin (``SAB'') expresses the views of the staff regarding the use of a ``simplified'' method, as discussed in SAB No. 107 (``SAB 107''), in developing an estimate of expected term of ``plain vanilla'' share options in accordance with Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 123 (revised 2004), Share-Based Payment. In particular, the staff indicated in SAB 107 that it will accept a company's election to use the simplified method, regardless of whether the company has sufficient information to make more refined estimates of expected term. At the time SAB 107 was issued, the staff believed that more detailed external information about employee exercise behavior (e.g., employee exercise patterns by industry and/or other categories of companies) would, over time, become readily available to companies. Therefore, the staff stated in SAB 107 that it would not expect a company to use the simplified method for share option grants after December 31, 2007. The staff understands that such detailed information about employee exercise behavior may not be widely available by December 31, 2007. Accordingly, the staff will continue to accept, under certain circumstances, the use of the simplified method beyond December 31, 2007.
Revisions to the Eligibility Requirements for Primary Securities Offerings on Forms S-3 and F-3
We are adopting amendments to the eligibility requirements of Form S-3 and Form F-3 to allow certain domestic and foreign private issuers to conduct primary securities offerings on these forms without regard to the size of their public float or the rating of debt they are offering, so long as they satisfy the other eligibility conditions of the respective form, have a class of common equity securities listed and registered on a national securities exchange, and the issuers do not sell more than the equivalent of one-third of their public float in primary offerings over any period of 12 calendar months. The amendments are intended to allow more companies to benefit from the greater flexibility and efficiency in accessing the public securities markets afforded by Form S-3 and Form F-3 without compromising investor protection. The expanded form eligibility does not extend to shell companies, however, which are prohibited from using the new provisions until 12 calendar months after they cease being shell companies. In addition, we are adopting an amendment to the rules and regulations promulgated under the Securities Act to clarify that violations of the one-third restriction will also violate the requirements as to proper registration form, even though the registration statement has been declared effective previously.