Roadmap for an IPO: A guide to going public

Starting early is key to a successful IPO

The landscape for IPOs is, to put it mildly, dynamic. The outlook continues to evolve with more recent triggers, such as changes in the global political climate and interest rate environment, leading to windows of opportunity opening and closing quickly. For organizations looking to open paths to capital, particularly an IPO, it is critical to leverage the right insights to make the right moves at the right times.

There are multiple paths to going public – IPO, SPAC, direct listing, etc. How do you know which is the right path for you? Is now the right time? What can you expect after going public? You need a plan that sets you apart long after the bell rings. 

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The decision to go public 

Simply requiring additional capital does not always mean that going public is the right answer. There are a handful of important questions you should consider, and it is important to keep specific goals in mind throughout the going-public process.

Determining filer status

Filer status drives its reporting requirements during both the going-public process and throughout life as a public company. Filer status should be assessed continuously during the going-public process and each fiscal year thereafter for public companies.

Preparing to become a public company

Preparation is the secret to success. The better prepared your company is, the more efficient and less costly the process can be. We recommend that an orderly plan be executed over a one- to two-year period.

Structuring your IPO

Choosing the appropriate structure for an IPO can provide substantial benefits. Regardless of the structure or process chosen, getting the right company or group structure in place is critical to driving value and efficiency. 

Maximizing the value of your IPO

The equity story is the foundation of any successful IPO, as it creates a clear vision for your organization while serving as a compelling rationale for why investors should be interested. Investment bankers will rely on an equity story to determine both the marketability of the company and the valuation. 

Common accounting and financial reporting issues

From financial statements to taxation and compensation to complex technical accounting, get in front of these issues well in advance of the registration process so that they won't be an impediment to becoming a public company.

Building a going public team

You need advisors who have “been there and done that.” Be on the lookout for key players, from the specialists to the staff members who will help prepare the registration statement and other sales documents.

Preparing the registration statement

Management knows the business best, so it should take an active role providing direction in the drafting process. Allowing others to draft significant amounts could result in a registration statement that deviates from management’s view. 

Navigating the IPO process

Most successful IPOs are launched by those businesses that operate as public companies well in advance. An experienced project management team can help position you for success.

We are public! Now what?

Once listed, a company will be under far greater public scrutiny and will have a range of continuing obligations. Public perception has a direct effect on the value of its stock. Do not underestimate it.

With you when the bell rings

To create a clear path forward, you need the confidence that comes from working with a team of straight-talking advisors and actionable insights from a team of dedicated professionals. Find out how we can guide you through each step of the readiness assessment process and beyond.

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Mike Bellin

Mike Bellin

IPO Services Leader, PwC US

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