IPOs (Initial Public Offerings)

Preparing for an IPO takes time, cost and management effort. For example, there may need to be changes to the executive board and non-executive directors, to revise any share incentive programmes or to enhance the financial reporting systems to meet the requirements of the Listing Rules, the Companies Act and other applicable regulations and legislation. A number of documents need to be prepared – including the prospectus.

A prospectus is required to contain, among other things, detailed information on the company and its operations, its past trading record and financial performance, the executive team, changes in the company’s equity structure, information about its industry and its business aims and growth projections. The Listing Rules, which set out the conditions for a London listing, and the Prospectus Rules, which describe the minimum contents for documents to be used for any EU listings or offers must be followed. The final version of the prospectus must be formally approved by City regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

There must be an in-depth analysis of the documents, information and evidence used to compile these documents which is referred to as due diligence. A number of professional advisers are required – lawyers and accountants for the company, for the stockbrokers and banks involved and for nominated advisers (Nomads) if the IPO is for the AIM market.

We are fully conversant with all these issues and has much experience in assisting companies – and their other professional advisers – as they prepare for an IPO. Our small caps team also assists many newly listed companies manage the transition to public status with all the various changes to financial management and reporting that this entails.

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