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Alternative Market Briefing

M&A Brokers could see regulatory relief (part 2)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

In the first part of this series we covered a recent No-Action Letter issued by the SEC, which relaxed some of the rules around transaction size and fees that can be collected on a transaction. There is also a coordinated effort to make this relief binding by changing the federal laws around M&A brokers.

The Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales, and Brokerage Simplification Act (S. 1923 and H.R. 2274) would effectively simplify and cut costs around federal securities regulation of business brokerage services in privately negotiated business mergers, acquisitions, and sales of small and mid-sized businesses. Brokers would see relief on registration requirements and would also have clearer guidelines on how and when they can charge fees for service.

The current law offers a one-size-fits-all approach and in practice this means that the big transactions, handled by Wall Street’s brand name brokers, are the only ones that really meet all of the criteria. For small businesses and their M&A advisors rules are less clear. Transaction sizes are smaller, services are different and little guidance is available on what to do when your deal falls into this bucket. Buyers and sellers also feel an additional burden with steep transaction fees resulting from compliance requirements that make them act like the biggest firms in or......................

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