While the Australian government considers including private companies in the crowd-sourced funding (CSF) regime, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has published Consultation Paper 288 Crowd-sourced funding: Guide for public companies. CP 288 includes a draft Regulatory Guide outlining ASIC’s proposed guidance for public companies which will raise funds through the CSF regime from 28 September 2017, including an explanation of the new Corporations Amendment (Crowd-sourced Funding) Regulations 2017.
The Regulations, among other things, provide that:
- an offer for CSF securities may only be made for fully-paid ordinary shares; and
- the raised funds must not be used to issue a credit facility to the company or a related party.
The Regulatory Guide, among other things:
- explains the temporary concessions available to public companies making CSF offers from certain reporting, audit and corporate governance requirements that would usually apply to public companies; and
- illustrates a step-by-step process for making a CSF offer, designating responsibility for each step on either the company or the CSF intermediary. A template CSF offer document is annexed to the Regulatory Guide to provide a standard structure, accompanied by instructions and example content, to help companies prepare a CSF offer document.
ASIC invites feedback on CP 288 by 3 August 2017.