There is still much confusion regarding the ultimate requirements and the impact Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) legislation will have on corporate America. Even with this uncertainty, it is guaranteed that the environments and even cultural milieu of these corporations will be forever changed. I predict four significant consequences of SOX legislation compliance and one remaining roadblock to corporate compliance in general.
Many non-U.S. companies have completed a public offering of their companies in the U.S. stock markets (e.g., NYSE or NASDAQ). The offerings bolster these markets in the eyes of the international investing public and also give U.S. investors access and insight into international companies. Unfortunately, many international companies are reassessing their desire to perform a U.S. initial public offering (IPO), and several have already stated that they have decided to forego the IPO because they cannot comply with SOX. One clear example is the German automaker, Porsche, who canceled its U.S. IPO because its supervisory boards and audit committees have employee representatives. According to SOX rules, the company would be in violation of SOX because these types of board representatives are not independent.
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