On April 1, 2019, the SEC provided additional guidance relating to its new rules that permit companies to file redacted material contracts without applying for confidential treatment of the redacted information provided the redacted information (i) is not material and (ii) would be competitively harmful if publicly disclosed. The new rules became effective upon their publication in the Federal Register on April 2, 2019.
Primarily located in Regulation S-K Item 601(b), the new rules require companies to identify where information has been omitted from a filed exhibit. Specifically, companies must:
- mark the exhibit index to indicate that portions of the exhibit or exhibits have been omitted;
- include a prominent statement on the first page of the redacted exhibit that certain identified information has been excluded from the exhibit because it is both (i) not material and (ii) would be competitively harmful if publicly disclosed; and
- indicate with brackets where the information has been omitted from the filed version of the exhibit.
To facilitate consistency across the SEC’s exhibit requirements, the new rules also apply to certain exhibit–related requirements in specified disclosure forms for which Item 601(b)(10) does not apply, including Form 8-K, Form 20-F (to maintain a consistent approach for domestic and foreign companies) and forms used by investment companies such as Form N-1A and Form N-2.
Click here to read the full GT Alert on the SEC guidance covering compliance reviews, the redacted exhibit review process, Securities Act registration statements, Exchange Act filings, confidentiality of supplemental materials, and transition issues and questions.