Going public is not for everyone. Dick Steele, a serial non-executive director and Portmeirion Group chairman, gives his 10 tips for CEOs considering a listing to fund the next stage of business growth.
The first question to ask a business is: “are you floating for the right reasons?” Is it to raise money, to cash out the private equity firm that had backed your growth phase, or to raise the profile of the business? “Yes” is an acceptable answer to all of these. What is not is management looking to cash in themselves, or to just get their names in the papers.
Management need to understand that they will have a duty to keep the market informed. They do not always appreciate that. Are they really capable of forecasting profits, within 10%, six months to a year out? If they cannot, they will be giving profit warnings.
It is best to under promise and over deliver; because it is very hard to regain the trust of the analysts if they lose confidence in you.
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