The FCA has published today a consultation paper on the availability of information in the UK Equity IPO process (DP 16/3).
As part of the FCA’s market study into investment and corporate banking the regulator examined the availability of information during the UK IPO process. The evidence showed that, in the typical UK IPO process, the blackout period means the pathfinder and final approved prospectuses are often made available to investors late in the IPO process.
Given the importance of the efficiency and integrity of the UK IPO process for both issuers and investors, the FCA wants the regulatory framework to encourage an optimal IPO process for issuers, sell-side service providers, and buy-side investors.
The prospectus, approved by the FCA, should play a central role within the IPO process. Investors value this as the officially recognised source of comprehensive, neutral and reliable information about the issuer. In considering reform the FCA is aiming for an efficient and well-informed IPO process where:
- an approved prospectus is the central document in the IPO process and is made available to investors when they need it
- firms foster high standards of conduct, in particular in their management of conflicts of interest inherent during the preparation and distribution of ‘connected’ research
- conditions exist for ‘unconnected’ research to be published during the IPO process, where there is demand for it
This will be of interest to institutional and retail investors, corporate issuers, investment banks engaged in underwriting and placing activity, corporate finance advisers, and third party research providers.
The deadline for submissions on the questions posed in the discussion paper is 13 July 2016. The FCA statement and the DP can be found here.