An Initial Public Offering (abbreviated: IPO) is the most well-known and most challenging capital market transaction in the life of a growing company. In addition, there are numerous other transactions where companies can participate in the capital market. These include capital increases, bond issues, private placements, listing of existing shares or changes between stock exchange segments. And in some cases, at the end of a market life there may be the desire or necessity to reprivatize and delist a company.
The requirements of the capital markets with regard to these transactions are considerable and too often underestimated. And this no longer applies to just the US capital market, but also to the increasingly important markets in Frankfurt, London and Asia. PwC offers tailor-made support and advice for all of these capital market transactions.
Initial public offerings make particular demands on a company. For this reason, it is particularly important for those involved to clarify some central questions beforehand: Is the company up to the high demands of an IPO? How attractive and valid are the business model and business plan? Would the company be in a position, as a listed company, to be able to fulfil the ongoing and regular demands in due time and with legal security? Good preparations are a significant success factor for a lasting successful capital market positioning.
PwC assists companies in these preparations with an IPO Readiness Analysis in order to ensure their preparedness for an initial public offering. In doing so, PwC experts for capital market transactions examine the market eligibility of the organizational structure and processes, tax structures, financial and corporate reporting, corporate governance, legal department and investor relations. They uncover existing gaps and develop recommendations for action to achieve optimization. This improves the companies' planning reliability and reduces the reputational risks.
Additional financial information is often required for the prospectus. This applies in particular in the event of restructuring and spin-offs into new companies or when significant acquisitions are being made. In these cases, special financial information (often in combined financial statements - so called carve-out financial statements) or pro-forma financial information has to be generated and audited. PwC experts assist with the ideal presentation, preparation and audit of such special financial information.
Equity Story and a compelling and reliable business plan convince investors and analysts of business model
An essential aspect for the investors of a company is the attractiveness of the business model, in particular with regard to sustainability, potential for growth and profitability expectations. Significant instruments for convincing investors and analysts of a company's business model are the equity story and a compelling and reliable business plan.
At the same time, the business plan offers the basis for the valuation of a company - which is already advisable at the start of considerations for an initial public offering in order to obtain a first idea of a possible issue price and, consequently, the possible cash inflow for the company.
As a consultant, PwC assists prospective stock exchange newcomers among other things with the preparation of an equity story, validation of the business plan, pre-IPO valuation and ongoing updating of company appraisal during the IPO process to establish a fair market emission price margin.
Professional project management by PwC also contributes to a company's efficiency regarding time and costs - both during preparation and the transaction itself.
A "comfort letter" is expected by auditors for most capital market transactions. The objective of this document is to assist companies and the issuing bank with the financial due diligence. PwC's specialists for capital market transactions work in cooperation with the PwC audit team to achieve an efficient and risk-oriented implementation and documentation of the appropriate audit actions.
PwC also helps companies to prepare a "fact book" with all significant financial and tax information for the prospectus as well as the corresponding documentation for the auditors.