NORWALK, Conn.--()--ICR, one of the largest independent financial communications firms in North America, today announced the completion of another successful year of guiding companies through the IPO process.
“We were pleased once again to be the leading agency retained for U.S. IPO-related communications having consulted on almost one quarter of all initial public offerings”
According to Renaissance Capital, a leading provider of independent IPO research, there were 128 U.S. IPOs in 2012 and ICR provided strategic counsel and communications services to 29 of them, representing 23 percent of all transactions.
“We were pleased once again to be the leading agency retained for U.S. IPO-related communications having consulted on almost one quarter of all initial public offerings,” said Tom Ryan, Chief Executive Officer, ICR. “This segment of the transaction market requires high-level capital markets experience, deep industry-specific expertise, long standing relationships with investors, analysts and the media, and obviously, world class communications counsel. ICR has consistently brought these skills to bear for our growing and diverse client base, having become a sought-out partner for this important corporate milestone. Given the more than 6,000 private companies that are currently private equity sponsored, we are excited about our business potential and look forward to working with issuers as these entities eventually transition to a sale or the public markets.”
An IPO is the first, and possibly most critical, event for a public company in terms of gaining exposure within the financial community. As such, ICR offers a list of important activities that IPO candidates should pursue to ensure a successful offering and a smooth transition to the public markets:
1. Create a Stakeholder Communications Plan – Announcing the intent to go public requires a comprehensive communications plan that manages expectations and addresses the concerns of employees, vendors, potential business partners and other stakeholders with a vested interest in a successful transaction.
2. Manage the Media – IPO candidates should build a profile in the financial media to form a foundation of public familiarity, and post-pricing should be aware of the impact the press can have on perception and valuation.
3. Prepare for a Crisis – A product or service crisis is impactful enough when operating a private company, but the stakes increase exponentially in a public company setting. Sufficient crisis planning and management can directly affect financial performance and reduce corporate risk.
4. Determine the Right Positioning – Crafting the appropriate strategic positioning ahead of an IPO will help a company add context to its investment thesis and thereby tell a more compelling story to financial analysts.
5. Pick the Best Investment Banks – Companies should select underwriters that offer proven deal execution complemented by investment banks with smart and objective research analysts.
6. Develop an S-1 Strategy – Thinking beyond the IPO is critical when creating the S-1. Providing insightful financial metrics is a key driver of long-term valuation.
7. Analyze the Numbers – Management must be prepared to provide a clear explanation of the company’s financial history as well as the assumptions that support future earnings growth. Managing expectations is critical to building credibility in the public markets.
8. Prepare to Meet the Street – Management must know and understand industry issues and trends, performance and valuation of industry peers and be ready to answer the topical questions asked by sell-side analysts and institutional investors.
9. Implement Policies & Procedures – Public company infrastructure should be firmly in place prior to the commencement of the IPO roadshow.
10. Roadshow Preparation – Management should seek knowledgeable and objective feedback and guidance when shaping the roadshow presentation and preparing for investor Q&A. Presentation and media training should also be part of a thorough effort.
11. Digital Media – Creating an IPO roadshow video that highlights the corporate brand and vision adds an important dimension to the roadshow presentation and can often tell a company story better than anything or anyone else.
12. Be sure to Integrate IR & PR functions Prior to a Transaction – The financial communications function is critical to managing the message to all stakeholders engaged with the corporate brand. An approach that aligns messages to investors and other parties reduces risk and positions a company to maximize its valuation at any given time which is critical to public company success.
Established in 1998, ICR is consistently ranked as one of the top independent financial communications firms in North America, and in 2011 was ranked as the 8th largest independent communications firm overall. ICR specializes in investor relations, corporate and crisis communications and digital media, and represents more than 350 public and private companies across more than twenty different sectors. The firm maintains offices in Norwalk, Conn., New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Beijing.
Learn more at www.icrinc.com.