The main difference between the two documents is that the ASA has no interest or obligation to repay the amount within a specified time frame. The ASA therefore offers the possibility of obtaining certain benefits from a convertible debt structure, without certain limits related to a typical convertible bond being met. As part of an ASA, an investor agrees to pay a down payment for a company`s share subscription. These shares will be issued at a later date, to a “qualifying financing,” to a sale or liquidation as in the case of convertible bonds or to a long stop date. An ASA is not a fault; it does not generate interest and can never be repaid in cash. Special conditions: Subordination, security interests and guarantees – Notes occasionally contain the concept of subordination, security interests or guarantees. These characteristics are more typical of conventional bank debt and less common for convertible investor debt, but they deserve to be mentioned because they appear occasionally. You may have found acronyms such as SAFE, eFAST and KISS. These are reference documents available online for those looking for simple forms corresponding to ASA or convertible bond instruments. These and other similar forms of agreement are generally formulated in a favourable way to investors and are often geared towards American companies – whose shares operate differently from English companies.
It is therefore important that companies give definitive advice before using these documents or accepting the terms and conditions of sale set out in them. A convertible bond is a debt, with a capital mechanism (usually accrued interest) to convert it into equity in certain circumstances. The conversion is most often carried out in the case of “qualified financing” (i.e. a series of subsequent holdings greater than a certain level), but it would also occur in the event of a failure or sale, a change of control or liquidation of the business. The terms of conversion of convertible bonds into equity under a convertible note subscription agreement are eligible financing in the event of a liquidity event or on a maturity date. If the valuation of “qualified financing” is much higher than expected and investors do not have an upper limit, ASA/Note investors will put pressure on the founders to reduce their valuation in order to maintain the target percentage of ASA/Note investors. A convertible note underwriting agreement is a contract for an investor to purchase a convertible bond, a debt instrument converted into equity under pre-defined terms. Interest rates: Convertible bonds often have zero or low interest rates, or when interest is collected, they are wound with the principal (often called “capitalized interest”) and converted into shares. In the current climate, we are starting to see interest, sometimes at interest rates of up to 10%, payable in cash (either at maturity on a coiled basis or at regular intervals), by converting only the main amounts into shares. Finally, some investors may prefer the convertible note format to the ASA because it is more familiar.
Convertible bonds have been around for a long time on the market and have therefore been used more widely. To be able to feel the scene, we wanted to quickly address certain things when deciding between a convertible debt tower (with a convertible note) Convertible Structured Equity Round (with ASA, Simple Agreement for Future Equity Round (SAFE, etc.) and a series of stock prices (with an appointment sheet, a reference letter or an agreement, amended statuses, etc.). The rest of the note is generally intended to outline the mechanisms for converting debt repayment into shares. In this section you`ll find a language that describes what makes qualified financing – a note holder doesn`t want shares in a company that`s underfunded (she`d prefer a cash refund), so the concept here is to say it has to be part of a pretty robust financing if you want to convert me into shares