by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
crowdfunding, offers, securities

pabst brewing

The Questionable Line Between Crowdfunding And An Illegal Securities Offer; The Pabst Brewing Case Study

from the this-won't-last dept

We're certainly among those interested in various "crowdfunding" options out there for various business models, but the ones that seem to work are situations where people are buying something specific for their money, rather than buying "ownership" in a product or company. Once you're trying to sell ownership, you're basically offering equity, and I would imagine that's a huge no-no to the folks at the SEC who very, very, very carefully regulate any sort of equity offer. Mark Glaser points us to the fact that two ad agencies, upon hearing that the Pabst Brewing Company was up for sale decided to set up a website called Buy A Beer Company, with the goal of getting people to pledge a bunch of money that could be used to buy Pabst.

The website has the typical "tiered" options that we've seen from other crowdfunding offers (though, what you get at each level isn't clearly explained). I'm assuming that this is something of a PR stunt by those ad firms, but I'm wondering if they may run into some serious legal problems pretty quickly. They're basically offering unregistered securities in another company without having gone through any of the rather strict legal process required to make any sort of investment offer of this nature. Even if it is just a joke, it seems like the kind of joke that could end up with people in court.

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  1. identicon
    John Doe, 25 Feb 2010 @ 11:26am

    The real question is...

    ...why would anyone want to buy Pabst, the beer or the company? :)

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