In a press release yesterday, the CFTC issued an exemptive letter, CFTC Letter No. 14-116, providing relief from certain provisions of CFTC Regulations 4.7(b) and 4.13(a)(3) that restrict marketing to the public.  The exemptive relief was issued to make CFTC Regulations 4.7(b) and 4.13(a)(3) consistent with SEC Rule 506(c) of Reg. D and Rule 144A, which were amended by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act), to permit general solicitation or advertising subject to certain limitations.

Generally, the JOBS Act adopted SEC Rule 506(c) to permit an issuer, subject to the conditions of the rule, to engage in general solicitation or general advertising when offering and selling securities, and amended SEC Rule 144A to permit the use of general solicitation, subject to the limitations of the rule, when securities are sold to qualified institutional buyers (“QIBs”) or to purchasers that the seller reasonably believes are QIBs.  Prior to the CFTC’s exemptive relief, commodity pool operators (“CPOs”) relying on CFTC Regulations 4.7(b) and 4.13(a)(3) were not able to use general solicitation under Rule 506(c) or Rule 144A, as the CFTC exemptions prohibited general solicitation.

The new relief from provisions in CFTC Regulations 4.7(b) and 4.113(a)(3) is subject to the following conditions:

  1. The exemptive relief is strictly limited to CPOs who are 506(c) Issuers or CPOs using 144A Resellers.
  2. CPOs claiming the exemptive relief must file a notice with the Division.  The notice of claim of exemptive relief must:
  • State the name, business address, and main business telephone number of the CPO claiming the relief;
  • State the name of the pool(s) for which the claim is being filed;
  • State whether the CPO claiming relief is a 506(c) Issuer or is using one or more 144A Resellers;
  • Specify whether the CPO intends to rely on the exemptive relief pursuant to Regulation 4.7(b) or 4.13(a)(3), with respect to the listed pool(s);
  1. If relying on Regulation 4.7(b), represent that the CPO meets the conditions of the exemption, other than that provision’s requirements that the offering be exempt pursuant to section 4(a)(2) of the 33 Act and be offered solely to QEPs, such that the CPO meets the remaining conditions and is still required to sell the participations of its pool(s) to QEPs;
  2. If relying on Regulation 4.13(a)(3), represent that the CPO meets the conditions of the exemption, other than that provision’s prohibition against marketing to the public;
  • Be signed by the CPO; and
  • Be filed with the Division via email using the email address dsionoaction@cftc.gov and stating “JOBS Act Marketing Relief” in the subject line of such email.