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Sec. 221.119 Applicability of plan-lender provisions to financing of stock options and stock purchase rights qualified or restricted under Internal Revenue Code.

(a) The Board has been asked whether the plan-lender provisions of § 221.4(a) and (b) were intended to apply to the financing of stock options restricted or qualified under the Internal Revenue Code where such options or the option plan do not provide for such financing.

(b) It is the Board’s experience that in some nonqualified plans, particularly stock purchase plans, the credit arrangement is distinct from the plan. So long as the credit extended, and particularly, the character of the plan-lender, conforms with the requirements of the regulation, the fact that option and credit are provided for in separate documents is immaterial. It should be emphasized that the Board does not express any view on the preferability of qualified as opposed to nonqualified options; its role is merely to prevent excessive credit in this area.

(c) Section 221.4(a) provides that a plan-lender may include a wholly-owned subsidiary of the issuer of the collateral (taking as a whole, corporate groups including subsidiaries and affiliates). This clarifies the Board’s intent that, to qualify for special treatment under that section, the lender must stand in a special employer-employee relationship with the borrower, and a special relationship of issuer with regard to the collateral. The fact that the Board, for convenience and practical reasons, permitted the employing corporation to act through a subsidiary or other entity should not be interpreted to mean the Board intended the lender to be other than an entity whose overriding interests were coextensive with the issuer. An independent corporation, with independent interests was never intended, regardless of form, to be at the base of exempt stock-plan lending.

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