The Prospectus. Marketing document or compliance necessity?

When Jennifer Hawkins starred in Myer’s IPO Prospectus in 2009, the role of the prospectus came under fire and sparked the creation of ASIC’s RG 228 which ensures that the “business” model remains the focus of the document, not a company’s branding. The prospectus has since evolved with increased compliance obligations resulting in the overall improved quality of IPO listings.

At a recent IPO network event hosted by William Buck Melbourne, Anton Whitehead and Simon Matison from Bell Potter explained that while subject to increased regulation, the prospectus is just one stage in the IPO journey.  The information memorandum and pathfinder document (used to raise capital pre-IPO) are also subject high levels of compliance.

By the time the prospectus is created, most of the due diligence and marketing is complete and is simply reiterated in the prospectus.  The message from the IPO Network event is clear.   The IPO market is “open” for business and midmarket offerings that have worked through the process of developing a prospectus are in high demand.

William Buck has helped many midmarket business’s grow by creating equity through an IPO. And while many business owners may consider IPO as an “exit” strategy, Anton Whitehead emphasised that an IPO was indeed a “wealth” strategy.

The panel discussion was aided by thoughtful questions from an audience of more than 50 guests at the InterContinental Melbourne. Panelists included Anton Whitehead and Simon Matison from Bell Potter Securities Limited, David Rodda, Partner at Quinert Rodda Lawyers and Rod North, Managing Director of Bourse Communications.