Back To Basics – IPO Or Not To IPO?
Initial Public Offerings (IPO’s) are on the rise once again. I have potential clients calling me daily interested in going public through an IPO, most have little or no prior knowledge of the public company arena – so back to basics. An IPO is an initial public offering of securities. Prior to proceeding with an IPO, an Issuer should consider the advantages, disadvantages and alternatives.
The advantages of an IPO include:
- Access to capital
- Liquidity of stock
- Public image and prestige; and
- Ability to attract and retain better personnel
The disadvantages of an IPO include:
- Expense – both of the initial transaction and ongoing compliance;
- Public disclosure of business information – public companies are required to be transparent which can give private competitors an edge;
- Limitations on long term strategic decisions
- Civil and criminal liability of executive officers and directors; and
- Takeover danger
The alternatives to an IPO for an Issuer seeking capital include:
- A Section 4(2) and/or Regulation D