How to get ready for life as a public company
Once you have decided to explore going public, you will need to map out all the necessary steps to ensure you have what it takes to win in the capital markets.
Making sure you’ve undertaken a thorough readiness assessment will help you to:
- Save costs by having transparency on how to get IPO ready
In an integrated approach, the assessment helps owners and managers map out what organizational changes are needed prior to a public offering.
- Gain valuable insights into IPO leading practices
An IPO readiness assessment helps you to decide which options are aligned with your business strategies and objectives, delivers a base case, and builds the road map for being prepared for being a public company.
- Raise transaction certainty in unpredictable IPO markets
The right team, story, timing and pricing are all pivotal to success. We see every IPO as transformational, so it should occur over time in a structured way that maximises transaction value; this is an important step in the life cycle of the entrepreneurial businesses we serve. Achieving readiness will provide flexibility in timing and help ensure a strong debut in the capital markets.
Typical objectives in this vital planning phase include:
- Defining an IPO base case, which will become important information for the assessment
- Identifying the IPO readiness gaps and assess the efforts required to get ready
- Training the key people on IPO leading practices and regulatory requirements
- Prioritizing the gaps in your IPO roadmap
To help meet these objectives, we’ve used our experience working with business owners and management teams of family businesses, scaled up and high-growth companies as well as private equity or venture capital-held companies considering their strategic options for funding for growth, including a public listing, across multiple industries.
From this experience, we’ve developed a holistic IPO readiness assessment framework – a structured approach designed to guide the company through a successful IPO transaction to a strong debut in the IPO market. If you determine that an IPO is right for you, this can also evolve into a program management framework:
Step 1: Strategy – Recognizing the IPO location and relevant exchanges that determine the regulatory benchmarks and prepare a compelling equity story
Step 2: Structures – Understanding the issuing company options and group structure and find out the governance and legal requirements
Step 3: Taxes – Preparing for tax on all levels: company, shareholder and transaction taxes
Step 4: Financial – Understand the issues – and any concerns – regarding external reporting, business plans, forecasting and prospectus
Step 5: Systems – Set out internal controls and audit, enterprise risk, compliance and IT
Step 6: Functions – Define the roles and processes around investor relations and compliance for before, during and after going public
Step 7: Leadership – Determine and modify the roles, composition and compensation of the C-suite, board of directors and HR
Step 8: Timeline – Determine the IPO timeline and consider regulatory approval processes, create and evaluate Plan B, and understand project management and roles