1. Choosing your market
One of the most important (and earliest) decisions you'll have to make is the market on which to float your company. Today there are more viable options for companies than ever before - including your own domestic stock exchange, an international stock exchange, or even a dual listing.
The decision you make will profoundly affect not only your valuation and your on-going relationship with investors - it will also impact your structure, processes and strategy into the foreseeable future. So you'll want to choose carefully and strategically, taking into account both short and long term ambitions.
The critical factors
Here are some of the critical issues to be evaluated across each market you consider:
- Your desired valuation
- The depth and breadth of the investor base
- Impact to your business development
- Long-term liquidity trends in the market, and current appetite for new listings
- The market’s regulatory requirements, including post-listing compliance obligations
- The choices made by competitors in your peer group
- The local economic conditions of your industry
- The degree of prestige of the index
- Market timing and speed to market
- Differences in culture, language, time zone, etc.
How can PwC help?
With our in-depth knowledge of the rules and regulations governing all of the world’s leading capital markets, we are well placed to help you navigate every phase of this critical and extremely complex process so that you can choose the right market for your company.
Among the many services we can provide:
- IPO readiness assessment
- Pre-IPO valuation
- Comparison of stock exchange requirements
- Industry and peer group analysis
2. Getting IPO ready
Once you’ve decided to go public, you need to be in the right shape to begin the process – the sooner, the better. You’ll need to have a well-thought-out business plan and corporate and tax structure, a compelling equity story, and appropriate governance, financial and IT systems in place. From day one, you’ll need to be ready to address new requirements around regulatory compliance, operations, risk management, reporting, investor relations, and much more.
All of this, of course, while continuing to run your day-to-day business efficiently and strategically.
How can PwC help?
At PwC, we have the people, market presence and tools to support you through every stage of the IPO preparation process.
A typical IPO readiness assessment would cover the following areas:
- The historical track record and equity story
- Major listing hurdles and requirements
- Transaction structuring (eg. tax efficiency)
- Identification of key value drivers and risk factors impacting on business valuation
- Assessment of corporate governance arrangements
- Help in selection of the right market and advisory team
3. Executing your IPO
Executing a successful IPO is the culmination of a long, complex process.
From strategy, accounting, reporting, financial systems, governance, media and investor relations, to treasury and financial risk management, legal, tax, HR, technology - every piece of the puzzle must be in place and connected before you succeed.
Your listing will require orchestrating many key players - bankers, lawyers, auditors, reporting accountants, underwriters, investor relations and IT professionals, among others.
That's why it is so important to work with an independent advisor that has the people, presence and experience to help you execute your IPO - in whatever market (or markets) you select.
How can PwC help?
PwC's dedicated team of capital markets professionals are here to help you master this critical task. We have deep experience and knowledge of the rules and regulations governing all major capital markets - and a successful history of working cohesively and effectively on both international and domestic IPOs.
We can advise you with all aspects of your public offering, including:
- Manage IPO projects on your behalf
- Act as reporting accountant for the IPO and perform applicable procedures on historical and prospective financial information
- Act as internal control and corporate governance consultant and provide recommendations on internal control and corporate governance structure
- Provide accounting advisory services and /or convert the financial statements from local accounting standards to IFRS or HKFRS
- Private due diligence reports and comfort letters
4. Being public
Your IPO is not the end of the story - it's only the beginning. Once listed, your company will be under far greater public scrutiny than ever before, with a vastly expanded universe of stakeholders - and a significantly larger portfolio of new risks, and obligations, to manage. Any weakness in systems or failure to comply with regulations may cause a loss of investor confidence - not to mention reputational damage, and the potential for significant company and personal monetary damage as well.
In more ways than one, the public's perception of your company will have a direct effect on the value of your stock. Fortunately, you are not alone.
Our IPO specialists are dedicated to providing you with the operational, technical, finance, and compliance support you need to survive and grow as a public company – today, and into the future.
How can PwC help?
From day one of your life as a public company, we can provide advice to help you:
- Act as your auditors and carry out periodic audit/review
- Advise on the new reporting and other regulatory requirements of a public company
- Understand how to meet market expectations and analyse market trends
- Embed systems and processes to help you streamline financial reporting processes and meet public company reporting obligations
- Assist your communicating with investors, analysts and the financial media
- Optimise your corporate governance, transparency and internal controls
- Train your people in the new compliance mind-set and practices of a public company
- Support the capital markets aspects of cross-border M&A activities