On January 19, 2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) published its 28th Interim Final Rule (Forgiveness IFR) covering the loan forgiveness requirements and review procedures for the Paycheck Protection Program, as reauthorized and amended by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (the Economic Aid Act), and as enacted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (as amended, supplemented or otherwise modified from time to time prior to the enactment of the Economic Aid Act, including the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, applicable federal regulations and interpretive guidance issued by the SBA and U.S. Department of Treasury (the CARES Act)).
Continue Reading New Interim Final Rules Re: PPP Loan Forgiveness Requirements and Review Procedures as Amended by Economic Aid Act

On January 6, 2020, the SBA published its 26th Interim Final Rule (the First Draw PPP IFR) and 27th Interim Final Rule (the Second Draw PPP IFR)[1] with respect to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), as reauthorized and modified under Title III (cited as the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (the Economic Aid Act)) of Division N of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.  The PPP was originally enacted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (as amended, supplemented or otherwise modified from time to time prior to the enactment of the Economic Aid Act, including by the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, applicable federal regulations and interpretive guidance issued by the SBA and Treasury, the CARES Act).
Continue Reading Paycheck Protection Program: SBA Issues Guidance on First Draw and Second Draw PPP Loans and Releases PPP Applications Pursuant to the Economic Aid Act

Among the various bills that were amalgamated in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the omnibus appropriations and stimulus funding bill that was signed into law on December 27, 2020) was a modified version of the Save Our Stages Act (the “SOS Act”), a bill first introduced into the Senate by Sen. John Cornyn (TX) on July 22, 2020. The SOS Act can be found in Section 324 of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Business, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, which act comprises Title III of Division N of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.  The SOS Act establishes a new grant program (the “SOS Program”, also known as the “grant program for shuttered venue operators”) to be administered by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) to aid certain financially distressed venue operators, event promoters or producers, and talent representatives.
Continue Reading The Save Our Stages Act – Time for Eligible Businesses to Get Ready for Their Audition (Part 1 of 2)

[Update: This article has been updated since its initial publication on December 31, 2020.]

On December 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act), an omnibus statute that is comprised of, among other laws, twelve fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills for the federal government and an economic aid package to assist business concerns that continue to face hardships due to the COIVD-19 pandemic.  Title III of the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which is cited as the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (the Act), among other matters, reauthorizes and modifies the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL), as enacted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (as amended, supplemented or otherwise modified from time to time prior to the enactment of the Act, including the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, applicable federal regulations and interpretive guidance issued by the SBA and Treasury (the CARES Act)).
Continue Reading UPDATED: The Reauthorization and Revival of the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program under the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe disruption, distress and uncertainty for companies across almost every industry. While this initially resulted in a substantial slow-down in the M&A market, transactional activity is expected to accelerate in certain areas as the economy begins to recover; for example, we expect to see more carveouts by companies that seek to divest non-core assets, acquisitions of distressed companies, financings of independent companies that may have liquidity issues, and divestitures or joint ventures by private equity funds that seek to exit investments or bring in new partners. Prospective sellers and buyers alike should have an increased focus on specific considerations as they evaluate new opportunities during and post-COVID-19.

We anticipate lasting changes to three main categories of deal terms in M&A transactions as companies and the economy begin to recover from the pandemic: execution risk, risk allocation and purchase price. Special considerations that should be taken into account in each of those categories include the following:


Continue Reading The Impact of COVID-19 on M&A Transactions — Part II: Deal Terms

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe disruption, distress and uncertainty for companies across almost every industry. While this initially resulted in a substantial slow-down in the M&A market, transactional activity is expected to accelerate in certain areas as the economy begins to recover; for example, we expect to see more carveouts by companies that seek to divest non-core assets, acquisitions of distressed companies, financings of independent companies that may have liquidity issues, and divestitures or joint ventures by private equity funds that seek to exit investments or bring in new partners. Prospective sellers and buyers alike should have an increased focus on specific considerations as they evaluate new opportunities during and post-COVID-19.
Continue Reading The Impact of COVID-19 on M&A Transactions — Part I: Due Diligence and Operational Issues

Public companies with a December 31 fiscal year end are now in the process of preparing their Form 10-Q reports for the quarter ended June 30, 2020.

When preparing the MD&A section of the Form 10-Q, management should be mindful of the recently released SEC Division of Corporation Finance guidance, “Coronavirus (COVID-10 – Disclosure Considerations Regarding Operations, Liquidity, and Capital Resources”.
Continue Reading SEC Issues New MD&A Guidance Regarding COVID-19

The Main Street Lending Program, intended to provide credit support to small and medium sized businesses, became operational on July 6, 2020.[i] It includes many borrower-favorable economic terms, including a 5-year term, a low interest rate (capped at LIBOR + 3%), an interest payment deferral of 1 year and a principal payment deferral of 2 years, and a generally borrower-friendly amortization schedule.[ii] However, the Main Street Lending Program possesses certain characteristics that could negatively affect an acquisition, sale or other strategic transaction.

Since making its initial announcement in March of 2020, the Federal Reserve has released a series of documents and Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) to shape and clarify the program details.  This article discusses several Main Street Loan requirements (around affiliation, dealing with other debt, compensation, dividends/distributions and employee and payroll retention) that require special attention if an M&A transaction of a privately-held company is being conducted or may be on the foreseeable horizon. This article also recommends some basic execution strategies since different approaches to M&A due diligence review and transaction structuring are necessary if the acquiror, the target/seller or both have applied for or received a Main Street Loan.
Continue Reading Some Strings Attached: Main Street Lending Program And Private Company M&A

The $600 billion Main Street Loan program has been highly anticipated to provide financial support in the form of loans to small and medium-sized U.S. businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston that is administering the Main Street Loan program has released term sheets and various other program documents for the three types of loans, “New,” “Priority” and “Expanded,” as well as over 70 pages of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). As a result, the contours of the Main Street Loan program are now substantially settled[1] as the Fed announced publicly on Monday, July 6, that the Main Street Lending Program is now fully operational and ready to purchase participations in eligible loans that are submitted to the program by registered lenders (Eligible Lenders).
Continue Reading Interplay of Main Street Lending Program Documents (the Rights and Role of the Main Street SPV)

The US Federal Reserve has confirmed in its Main Street Loans frequently-asked-questions-faqs about the Main Street lending program (the “FAQ”) that US subsidiaries of foreign companies can be eligible borrowers under the various loans available under the program so long as they otherwise meet the other conditions to eligibility for the loans.
Continue Reading Main Street Loan Program – US Subsidiaries of Foreign Companies Can Apply

[Update: This is an updated version of an article published to Sheppard Mullin’s Finance and Bankruptcy Blog on June 5, 2020]

On June 5, 2020, the U.S. President signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPP Flexibility Act or Act) to provide businesses with greater flexibility and more time to maximize forgiveness of loans received under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), as enacted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (as amended, supplemented or otherwise modified from time to time, including, without limitation, by the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, applicable federal regulations and interpretive guidance issued by the SBA and Treasury, the CARES Act).  The PPP Flexibility Act has been further supplemented by the (i) Joint Statement, issued on June 8, 2020 by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza (the Joint Statement) and (ii) Seventeenth Interim Final Rule[1], issued by the SBA on June 11, 2020.
Continue Reading [UPDATED] Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act: Major Changes to the PPP