Intro to PIPE
A PIPE (Private Investment in Public Equity) transaction is typically a private placement of equity or equity-linked securities by a public company to accredited investors that is followed by the registration of the resale of those securities with the SEC. Generally the securities are sold at a discount to market price. A traditional PIPE generally involves a fixed number of securities at a fixed price, with the closing conditioned only on the effectiveness of a resale registration statement. Any transaction that does not fall within this parameter is considered non-traditional and the structure can vary widely, including for example price variables (such as a death spiral), warrants and options, convertible securities and equity line transactions.
Traditional PIPE Transactions
In particular, a traditional PIPE is generally a set number of securities at a set price (which may be a discount to market at the time of close) and is conditioned only upon the effectiveness of a re-sale registration statement. A traditional PIPE where the price is a discount to market would differentiate from a non-traditional death spiral in that there would only be one closing in the traditional PIPE and there would be multiple closings with continued downward pressure on the stock price and a continued dilutive effect with a non-traditional death spiral. The transaction documents associated with a traditional PIPE are generally very straight forward and do not contain ongoing negative covenants relating to information rights, future financing or corporate governance.
The terms of a non-traditional PIPE can vary widely but the basic requirements that the investment decision be completed in a private transaction prior to the filing of a registration statement and that the investor bear the risk of an investment are consistent.