Sunday, September 22, 2013

Reason why is Twitter’s IPO so unusual

TWITTER came up with a business that allows people send out information quickly.

The micro-blogging service sent out just one tweet on September 12th informing the world it had filed the required IPO papers confidentially with America’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) when it came to its initial public offering (IPO) but then there was silence.

Normally it is mandatory to all companies to publish information regarding them right after they have submitted their initial IPO documents to the SEC. However Twitter took benefit from provision in America’s Jumpstart Our Business Start-ups Act—or JOBS Act for short—that permits "emerging growth companies" to kick off the IPO process confidentially. They should be able to publish the IPO earlier than three weeks before they proceed on investor road shows to advertize shares. The act characterizes promising growth firms as ones with less than $1 billion of yearly revenue. The JOBS Act became law in April 2012. It is by giving some companies the option of filing for an IPO in secret that aims to encourage more flotation. According to the SEC, by the end of June 2013 roughly 250 companies in America had filed IPO documents confidentially.

For many reason this approach appeals to Twitter. The firm anticipates that by maintaining its financial performance confidential for a while, and then heading fast to a listing, it can keep away from the kind of hype that surrounded Facebook’s IPO in 2012. Although Twitter must reveal its correspondence with the regulator when it finally publishes its IPO documents it can also address any concerns the SEC has about its submission in private. It is hopeful to shun the fortune of Groupon, which exposed particulars of its finances immediately after it filed for an IPO in 2011. Several of the firm's accounting rules were openly questioned by the SEC, which frightened investors.

There are other advantages too. If it wishes to, Twitter must only publish two years of audited financial statements instead of the usual three and it can omit some details about executive pay that are typically compulsory. A rising growth company does not have to disclose it has filed to go public, though some like Twitter wish to do so.

It is a mistake to let prominent firms such as Twitter and Manchester United, an English football club that listed on the New York Stock Exchange last year, keep their filings secret for a while according to some critics. This promotes feral assumption about their finances, off-putting employees and making the market dirty. It is an act that is suppose to be prohibited but the JOBS Act also let emerging growth firms talk to big investors privately to gauge the appetite for their shares. That makes small punters at a definite drawback and clarifies calls to reduce the $1 billion revenue termination point for emerging growth firms. In the previous year one discontented investor suggested that the JOBS Act must be renamed the Jumpstart Our Bilking of Suckers Act.

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