Communication Guidelines for an IPO
Shane Dolan, a Managing Director within FTI Consulting’s Strategic Communications division in the Gulf highlights key considerations for businesses planning an Initial Public Offering (IPO).
In terms of context, the wider MENA market for IPOs is generally recovering on the back of an improving macro-economic backdrop, which has seen market valuations rise, driven by strengthening investor confidence. For example, during 2013, there were more than 20 listings in the MENA region raising an aggregate of $3 billion across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Tunisia, Iraq and Morocco.
Industry commentators are predicting a robust regional market for IPOs during 2014 and beyond with successful home grown businesses considering a listing to access capital to support on-going growth.
For those companies considering an IPO, it represents a major milestone in a company’s corporate life and provides the opportunity to generate significant awareness not only with investors but across the media both regionally as well as internationally.
There are significant upsides to such a prolific event but there is a major responsibility on the company to communicate in such a way which balances the promotion of its business with the regulatory environment in which it will operate.
The gatekeepers in this scenario are the company’s management team, who should be custodians of all internal and external communications. The leak of confidential\sensitive information to the media during an IPO for example can prompt an investigation by the regulator which could lead to major repercussions. The fact that we live in the age of social media is all the more worrying as a crisis literally can be just moments away.