When it comes to the equity offerings there are two types of equity offerings and they are as follows.

  • Unseasoned equity offerings 
  • Seasoned equity offerings

Unseasoned equity offerings are also known as an unseasoned new issue or initial public offerings and this refers to the companyโ€™s first equity issue which is made available to the market.

Seasoned equity offerings are done when the company wants to raise additional funds or equity and seasoned equity offerings also follows the same process as the initial public offerings. But the only difference is the price is already existing in the market unlike in an IPO. 

Due to financial, public image and liquidity advantages firms or the companies tend to go public. At the same time going public has its own disadvantages as well. Dilution of the ownership, disclosure disadvantages, market pressure and additional expenses by means of commissions and underwriter discounts are some of those disadvantages of going public and the next part of the article is focusing on how the IPO process differs across countries. 

In this article, we are mainly looking at the Sri Lankan and the Australian IPO processes.

First will have a look at the Australian process. This basically includes 8 steps and will go into detail step by step.

1. Appointment of the advisors

Appointing the advisors comes as the first step and corporate advisors, stockbrokers, investment banks, underwriters, lawyers, accountants, share registries, communications and the investor relation consultants are the advisors who are appointed at this phase and among them corporate advisors, stockbrokers and underwriters play a key role in the IPO process. 

They are responsible to provide professional advice about the corporate structure, prospectus, legal matters, financial and marketing matters and public relations. 

2. Discussion with Australian Stock Exchange 

When going public there can be a lot of issues that the company might come up with. Such issues can be documental issues, listing time tables, management contracts, related party transactions etc. Such issues must be discussed with the Australian Stock Exchange at the earliest possible opportunity. This discussion takes place in the second step of the process in the Australian IPO process. 

3. Preparation of the prospectus and the due diligence 

 A prospectus should include all the required information for the investors and the advisors for them to make an informed investment decision. It should include information such as 

  • Companyโ€™s background and prospects
  • Management structure
  • Details of the offer
  • Proposed allocation of funds and expert reports 
  • The financial status of the company
  • Material contracts

Due diligence process is also coming under a part of the preparation of the prospectus and it informs the legal responsibilities of all the parties concerned, the structure of the transaction and the content of the prospectus. This due diligence process enables an examination of the company and further provides detailed verification of the information which was already provided in the prospectus.

  • Directors and the senior management of the company
  • Lawyers and accountants
  • Underwriters are the ones who are held responsible to carry out this process

4. Lodging of prospectus 

Once the prospectus is prepared it should be lodged with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. (ASIC) It is the body which is responsible for enforcing and regulating company and financial law. After the prospectus being lodged, there is an exposure period in which the public subscriptions cannot be accepted by the company which goes public. 

5. Applying for listing

After the lodging of the prospectus, the company is now eligible to apply or submit the listing application to ASX. (Australian Stock Exchange) 

6. IPO period 

After lodging the prospectus with the ASIC the start of the offer is declared by the company. This offer basically kept open to the investors for three to four weeks and it is known as the IPO period. This IPO period begins soon as the Exposure period is over.  Based on the management discretion this can be further extended too. The marketing campaign begins during this phase to attract investors. Being more specific to attract institutional investors. (a.k.a. the roadshow)

7. Admission to the ASX official list

Once the listing application is lodged with the ASX, the admission to the ASX official list will be granted by the ASX.

8. Commencement of the trading 

Once all the above steps are completed the particular company is in a position to start trading at the ASX.

This concludes the Australian IPO process and with this, we are moving to the IPO process in Sri Lanka. It mainly includes three major steps and will have a look at that process as well in detail.

1. Pre IPO preparation

The first step of the IPO process in Sri Lanka is Pre IPO preparation and under this phase, there are specific things happening. 

Building the company management team, engaging the external advisory team, reorganization or restructuring of the group, developing a long term strategic business plan, corporate governance requirements and public relations and investor communications are taking place under this phase.  

2. Preparation for listing 

Finalizing preparation of documents, obtaining CSE approval for a listing application are coming under the second phase in the Sri Lankan IPO process.

3. The public phase of listing

Prospectus issue, investor education, closing subscription and trading comes under the last phase in the process. 

In a nutshell, these are the processes of IPOs in the Sri Lankan and the Australian contexts and will have a quick look at what we discussed under this article.

At the beginning of the article, IPO was defined and the advantages and disadvantages of going public were also discussed. Then the IPO processes of Sri Lanka and Australia were discussed in detail and in the Australian context, there were basically eight steps involved whereas only three steps were involved in the Sri Lankan process. 

With that, this article comes to an end and will meet from another interesting article soon.

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