INVESTOR READINESS, IPO PREPARATION
AND SHAREHOLDER LIQUIDITY SOLUTIONS
OUR ROLE: THE TRUSTED ADVISER
For an SME, these high impact processes and transactions happen infrequently or are one-offs.
For us, they are part of our daily work. That is why we are well positioned to:
Act as a discussion partner to your C-suite and Board
Help you make informed decisions
Save you time otherwise spent in researching and assessing options
Help you select appropriate service providers* for your company's size, sector and objectives
Project manage these transactions
By working with us, you avoid the unwanted consequences of a “trial and error” approach, and their effect on your running of the business, on investor outreach, on transaction costs and timing, as well as on your company's valuation and reputation.
*we do not perform any regulated functions; all regulated functions are performed by advisers that are regulated and approved by the relevant authorities
SERVICES FOR PRIVATE COMPANIES
Equity story and investor pitching
We come into this task with the experience of having seen many good and bad investment proposals and investor pitches in your sector and/or from other SMEs in general. We will:
review and amend your equity story and presentation materials;
train you to improve your investor pitch;
test your equity story and pitching technique with select groups of investors (generalists/specialists) prior to you going live with the fundraising
Preparing for due diligence
Our specialists are well-versed into the typical issues of companies of your size/from your sector, and can help you prepare efficiently for the due diligence process, from the point of view of:
internal systems, processes and controls etc.
Polishing up on “investor readiness” is useful for most transactions your SME would engage in.
A strong and clearly articulated equity story makes your firm more attractive to investors.
Timely preparation for due diligence allows the company to respond promptly to investor approaches and avoids delays and hiccups in the investment process.
Having a fresh pair of eyes look into your fundraising strategies may give you ideas you may not have thought of,
or directions you did not know were available. More importantly, we can draw your attention towards the potential effect of your current strategies on your future fundraising ability.
Fundraising strategy review
We look into your fundraising plans (from a 1 to 5 or 10 year perspective) and give you our views of the directions we think could be helpful in your particular case, in terms of categories of investors, geographies, trading platforms etc.
We would also make you aware of programmes and facilities that may be available to your firm, and introduce you to specialist advisers that could help you enrol in/benefit from the above.
While we do not raise funds, we can direct you towards specialist and generalist regulated fundraisers with a good track record.
Realistic IPO prospects make the fundraising process much easier and faster. They may also make your company a more interesting/desirable M&A candidate. When a management team ignores IPO suitability or misstates the timespan to an IPO, this can severely disappoint existing investors and jeopardise future fundraisings.
Our work and research aims to make you understand the:
earliest point when your company could be listable on a public market;
specific milestones the company is expected to achieve by then;
stock markets/market segments that are potentially suitable to accommodate your firm.
We help you establish whether an IPO is a suitable option for your SME now or in the future.
By “future” we mean roughly 1-4 years’ time from now.
This piece of information in itself can make a significant difference when you raise private funds, because it projects a concrete liquidity/exit point for investors. It is also very valuable in managing shareholder expectations.
Realistic assessment of IPO prospects
Together with you, we analyse the merits of a domestic listing versus a listing on one of the international markets, and assess the suitability of different market segments based on the characteristics of your SME and your objectives for a listing.
Once you have decided on 1-2 listing venue options, we put you in front of a number of investment banks that are active in that/those market(s) and are suitable for your company's sector and size, in order to properly test the case, and collect relevant feedback that helps you make the final decision.
When you are ready to commit to the IPO process, we support you in making an informed decision regarding your future listing venue.
Listing venue selection
For the IPO of an SME, you need SME specialists.
These are investment banks, accounting, legal, IR and PR advisers who will have done a plethora of deals relevant to your situation (size and sector). You may be surprised to hear that these are – most often – not the ones that make headlines in the media.
These advisers would allocate senior executives for the entire duration of your IPO, have a fee structure and a modus operandi suitable to your size of company, have the right audience for your story and the capability to support you post-IPO.
We have the right network in all major financial centres. In addition, we like to think outside the box in terms of combinations of advisers (specialists+generalists or cross-border) to best suit your short and long term goals.
We would always put you in front of IPO advisors for whom your company will be at the top, not at the bottom of the priority list.
IPO advisory team selection
Going public involves a whole raft of external advisers (investment banks, accounting, legal, IR, PR etc) and a concerted in-house effort.
Any errors and miscommunications can cause a snowball effect. They create surprises, a hike in costs and delays. In turn, these could 1) affect the ability of the management to focus on their core tasks, and 2) push back the closing of the deal, with potential impact on valuation, investor participation etc. Subsequently the company‘s share price and shareholders could be affected.
To avoid such outcomes, we come in-house and plan the process together with you, and subsequently co-ordinate and oversee all aspects of execution in a transparent manner. A smooth and well managed transaction allows your management team to focus on running the business as usual and on pitching your company to investors, thus paving the way for a great start as a public company.
This is an area where your team would often have limited or no previous direct experience.
Even for a CEO or CFO who has been through this before, running an IPO transaction can demand 30-40% extra time, in addition to the daily job. With us as project managers, you can run the business as usual, focus on investors, and only get involved in the key aspects of the transaction, where your input is a must.
IPO project management
There are many options and growing, given all the fintech developments happening in different financial centres.
As liquidity specialists, we can help you navigate through and understand the different avenues, locally or internationally.
Liquidity for shareholders does not always have to mean selling your SME or taking it public.
You may simply be looking to facilitate the exit of some shareholders, while continuing to grow the business.
Or you would like to have a transparent pricing mechanism for your company's shares, without the regulatory and investor contact constraints of a public market listing.
Or – in the case of a family owned SME – you may be looking for a way to solve succession issues.
Liquidity solutions for shareholders
SERVICES FOR PUBLIC COMPANIES
We come from the SME broking environment and know who's who. In addition, it is a vital part of our job to stay informed in terms of coverage preferences of the different brokers and independent research houses.
Armed with the appropriate information and network, we look into where you stand and discuss with you options that could improve your domestic and international, paid and/or unpaid coverage. Due to our extensive connections in the SME broker environment, we are also in a position to guide you and introduce you to relevant parties who could cover your stock.
In addition, in preparation for future transactions (fundraisings or M&A), we can also connect you and/or help you select brokers that are suited to your goals (e.g. a specific type of investors, a specific geography etc).
Coverage has always been a thorny issue for smaller listed companies, but has become even more problematic in the light of the latest regulatory developments, which changed the rules of the game.
Adding coverage by randomly paying for research can cause more harm than good.
We assess your situation and support you in putting the right pieces of the puzzle together, for better and more credible coverage and improved market visibility.
Research and broker coverage review