Floating a company

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At Moore Barlow, we know that taking a company public can be a complex and daunting process. Our team of experienced corporate lawyers are here to guide you through every step of the way, from initial planning to final execution.

We have a proven track record of successfully advising clients on company flotations and public company transactions, and we are committed to providing tailored solutions that meet your specific needs and objectives.

  • Floating your company is a landmark event for your business, yet it can be complex and costly.
  • There are many legal and regulatory requirements, and you’ll need experienced legal specialists to prepare you for flotation.
  • We have worked on flotations and public company fundraisings for decades on both the London Stock Exchange and Alternative Investment Market.
  • Our team is big enough to provide the comprehensive knowledge and support you need, and flexible enough to ensure partner involvement throughout the transaction.

What is floating a company?

Floating a company refers to the process of taking a company public by offering its shares for sale to the general public. This allows the company to raise capital, increase its visibility, and offer liquidity to its shareholders.

Jeremy Over

Jeremy Over

Partner | Corporate

023 8071 8025

The ultimate endorsement of your success

Floating your company (taking it from privately to publicly held) is seen by many as the ultimate endorsement of your success at building a business. It gives you the ability to raise capital, offer equity-based incentives to attract the best staff and increase your public profile.

Flotation can be complex and time-consuming, so it’s important not to let it monopolise your attention. You still have to run and develop your business in the meantime, so you’ll need to appoint specialist advisors, including a legal team. You should be able to trust them to handle this process efficiently. You may also want to seek their advice first, to discuss the possible drawbacks and ensure you want to proceed.

Due diligence is a key part of the flotation process. All your legal documentation, such as contracts, licences, trademarks and articles of incorporation, must be present and correct. This is an area where attention to detail is paramount.

When you make the transition from private to public, your company’s privately held stock will be offered to investors through an Initial Public Offering (IPO), via the Official List at the London Stock Exchange or the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

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Your expert legal support

You will need a legal team that understands and can deal with all the legal and regulatory standards. You must have the right legal structure, a Trading Certificate from Companies House, and at least two directors and a company secretary. In addition, the company must have an annual audit and publish full, compliant accounts twice a year.

All these requirements may seem onerous, but we can lighten your load. We have many years’ experience of working on complex flotations and public company fundraisings. We have worked on many projects over the years, starting with Omnicare in 1995, one of the first AIM IPOs.

The size and flexibility of our team means we are big enough to provide the quality expertise you need, and flexible enough to ensure you have the personal involvement of a highly-experienced partner at every stage of the transaction.

Our advice will be tailored specifically to your company’s structure, requirements and goals. You can depend on us to support you all the way, from preparation for the IPO, to providing a full company secretarial service.

Why choose our solicitors to help with floating a company?

Choosing our solicitors to help with floating a company ensures that you have a team of experienced professionals who will guide you through every step of the process. From preparing the necessary documentation to liaising with regulatory bodies, we have the expertise to ensure a successful flotation. Our focus on building long-term relationships with our clients means that we are committed to achieving your goals and providing ongoing support.

How can our solicitors help with floating a company?

Let our solicitors can help with floating a company by providing expert advice on the legal requirements and procedures involved in the process. We can assist with drafting the necessary documentation, liaising with regulatory bodies, and ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations. With their extensive knowledge and experience in corporate transactions, our solicitors can help to ensure a smooth and successful flotation for your business.

We have offices in LondonRichmondSouthamptonGuildfordLymington and Woking and offer specialist corporate legal services to clients nationwide.

We are here to help

Discover how our expert corporate lawyers can help you.

Contact our corporate team

Frequently asked questions

Why would you float a company?

Floating a company, also known as an initial public offering (IPO), allows a company to issue shares of its stock to the public to raise capital for expansion, acquisitions, or to provide liquidity to existing shareholders. It also provides a platform for investors to trade the stock on a public exchange.

The steps to float a company are:

  1. Choose an underwriter or investment bank.
  2. Prepare a prospectus and file it with regulatory authorities.
  3. Complete due diligence and financial audits.
  4. Set a price for the shares and determine the number of shares to be sold.
  5. Market the shares to potential investors.
  6. Go public and list the company’s shares on a stock exchange.

There are different ways that you can float a company. This can be through launching an IPO (initial public offering), rights issue, bought out deals, and placing your company on the private or stock market,

The time taken to float a company can vary greatly depending on various factors such as the size and complexity of the company, market conditions, and regulatory hurdles. It can take several months to a year or more to successfully complete the process.

The benefits of floating a company include access to capital for growth and expansion, enhanced company visibility and reputation, increased shareholder value, and opportunities to attract top talent through employee stock ownership plans.

When deciding to float your company, you should be aware of potential risks such as loss of control over decision-making, increased scrutiny and regulation, potential market volatility affecting stock prices, and the possibility of hostile takeovers.

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