The Securities and Exchange Commission today adopted amendments to modernize the disclosure requirements relating to repurchases of an issuer’s equity securities, including requiring issuers to provide daily repurchase activity on a quarterly or semi-annual basis, depending on the type of issuer. The amendments will improve disclosure and provide investors with enhanced information to assess the purposes and effects of share repurchases.
“In 2021, buybacks amounted to nearly $950 billion and reportedly reached more than $1.25 trillion in 2022,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “Today’s amendments will increase the transparency and integrity of this significant means by which issuers transact in their own securities. Through these disclosures, investors will be able to better assess issuer buyback programs. The disclosures will also help lessen some of the information asymmetries inherent between issuers and investors in buybacks. That’s good for investors, issuers, and the markets.”
The amendments will require issuers to disclose daily quantitative share repurchase information either quarterly or semi-annually. The required disclosures include, for each day on which a repurchase was conducted, the number of shares repurchased that day and the average price paid, among other things. Issuers will also be required to include a checkbox indicating whether certain officers and directors traded in the relevant securities in the four business days before or after the announcement of the repurchase plan or program.
Further, the amendments will revise and expand narrative repurchase disclosure requirements to require that an issuer disclose: (1) the objectives or rationales for its share repurchases and the process or criteria used to determine the amount of repurchases; and (2) any policies and procedures relating to purchases and sales of the issuer’s securities during a repurchase program by its officers and directors, including any restriction on such transactions.
Finally, the amendments will add a new item to Regulation S-K to better allow investors, the Commission, and other market participants to observe how issuers use Rule 10b5-1 plans. New Item 408(d) will require quarterly disclosure in periodic reports on Forms 10-Q and 10-K about an issuer’s adoption and termination of Rule 10b5-1 trading arrangements.
Foreign private issuers that file on foreign private issuer forms will disclose the quantitative data in new Form F-SR beginning with the Form F-SR that covers the first full fiscal quarter that begins on or after April 1, 2024, and provide the narrative disclosure starting in the first Form 20-F filed after their first Form F-SR has been filed. Registered closed-end management investment companies that are exchange traded will disclose the quantitative data and provide the narrative disclosure on Form N-CSR beginning with the Form N-CSR that covers the first six-month period that begins on or after January 1, 2024. All other issuers will be required to include the quantitative data as an exhibit to their Forms 10-Q and 10-K and provide the narrative disclosure in their Forms 10-Q and 10-K beginning with the first filing that covers the first full fiscal quarter that begins on or after October 1, 2023.