|Initial public offering|
What is initial public offering (IPO)?
The initial public offering (IPO) is a first ever public offering of shares of a private/state-owned company to the investment public.
A decision by a company to conduct an IPO represents a major milestone in the business cycle of the company. A decision of the company's owner to embark on an IPO process will be based on a realistic assessment of the company's business operations, its resources, degree of development and the company's vision.
Through the IPO, the company may offer its existing shares to professional and retail investors, the company's employees, strategic partners and others. In turn, it will have to accept very high requirements of corporate governance, while also introducing other significant changes. Prior to the IPO, the company usually adopts a Code of Corporate Governance. As a set of rules and principles, the Code aims at establishing high standards of corporate governance and business transparency of joint stock companies to facilitate access to capital at a lower cost, since clearly defined corporate governance procedures based on recognisable international standards are among the main criteria for making an investment decision.
Questions to help decide whether a company is ready for the IPO and Exchange listing:
IPO of financial instruments
The IPO process may be divided into several key stages:
Before making a final decision on a public sale of shares, it is customary for the company's owners to consult with a listing sponsor (bank or investment company) to determine how much capital they are seeking to raise through the IPO, what kind of post-IPO ownership structure is targeted etc. In addition, the manner of setting the share price in the IPO (initial, fixed or price range) also needs to be determined. Together with the listing sponsor, the owners analyse the amount of funding sought to be raised, the investment project to be financed by it and whether, in addition to selling their existing shares through the IPO, the current owners also wish to issue new shares. The owners or listing sponsors prepare an independent overview of the company and the company's management prepares itself to improve and apply the best practices of corporate governance.
During initial meetings with potential investors in the course of the IPO, the company's management may encounter certain issues related to the strategy of the company, competition, quality of management, financial indicators etc. for the first time.
Promotion implies presenting the company to investors via a road show or in one-on-one meetings with investors. Companies seeking to promote their IPO process to foreign investors also go on a road show to present the company abroad. A public invitation and/or a summary of the prospectus including the most important information related to the IPO is to be published in the media. The invitation needs to state the number or percentage of shares being offered, the price or price range per share and the closing date of the offering.
Unless it has already been prepared, the Prospectus is to be prepared after a successfully completed IPO.
Prospectus is a document which needs to include all the information, taking into account the nature of the issuer and financial instruments offered to the public or admitted to trading in the regulated market, necessary to enable investors to make an informed assessment of the following: assets and liabilities, financial position, profit and loss, development prospects of the issuer and guarantor and any rights attaching to such financial instruments.
When the company issues new shares in a public offering, it is required to prepare an issuing/listing prospectus and disclose it to the public. Based on the prospectus, an investor may objectively assess any risks and make an informed investment decision. The prospectus is approved by the regulator, the Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency.
Listing on the Zagreb Stock Exchange
On completion of the IPO and capital raising, once the Prospectus has been approved, the company applies for listing in the regulated market of the Zagreb Stock Exchange. The listing of shares on the Exchange paves the way for a fair, orderly and transparent trading in its shares.
Via its website the Zagreb Stock Exchange provides an IPO notification service to companies, subject to a prior agreement to be concluded with the Zagreb Stock Exchange.
IPO-related notices are published by the Markets Department, so any queries may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benefits of the IPO