On January 17, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced revised, higher Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) pre-merger notification filing thresholds.  The FTC adjusts the HSR thresholds annually to represent the increase or decrease in GNP.  These revised thresholds will become effective 30 days from the date on which notice is published in the Federal Register, which should occur within the next week.  As such, we expect that these new thresholds will become effective by late February.  Once we know the precise effective date for these adjusted thresholds, we will publish anOn The Subject that can be distributed to clients.  Clients with transactions pending may benefit from the higher threshold if the transaction closes on or after the effective date and ultimately falls below the revised threshold.

Most notably, the size-of-transaction threshold, which frequently determines whether a transaction requires an HSR notification, will increase from $70.9 million to $75.9 million.  Other thresholds will increase as well, including thresholds for the size-of-person test, filing fees and certain exemptions.  The revised thresholds are as follows:

Click here to view the table.

Generally, a transaction requires an HSR notification if it meets the applicable size-of-transaction and/or the size-of-person tests, described briefly below, and does not fall within any exemptions.

A transaction meets the size-of-transaction test if, as a result of the transaction, the acquiring party holds assets, voting securities or a controlling interest in a non-corporate entity valued in excess of

  • $50 million, as adjusted ($75.9 million upon the effective date of these revised thresholds), assuming the size-of-person test is met, or
  • $200 million, as adjusted ($303.4 million upon the effective date of these revised thresholds) — this threshold applies to transactions even if the size-of-person test below is not met.

For the size-of-person test, upon the effective date of these revised thresholds, a transaction resulting in the acquiring party holding assets, voting securities or a controlling interest in a non-corporate entity valued at $75.9 million or more, but less than $303.4 million, is generally reportable if one party has net sales or total assets of at least $10 million, as adjusted ($15.2 million upon the effective date of these revised thresholds), and the other party has net sales or total assets of at least $100 million, as adjusted ($151.7 million upon the effective date of these revised thresholds).

Although the filing fees for HSR notifications will not change at this time (although this is something currently under review), the thresholds (based upon the size-of-transaction) that determine the correct filing fee will also adjust:

Click here to view the table.

Again, these revised thresholds will become effective 30 days after publication of notice in theFederal Register.