Corporate partners discuss “going public” in La Presse article

October 14, 2020

Robert Carelli, Warren Katz, Aniko Pelland and David Tardif, partners in the Corporate Group in Montréal, authored an article titled “Going Public: Is your business ready for the big step?” published in La Presse.

Whether or not to “go public” is one of the most important decisions a business can make from the perspective of corporate leaders in search of growth and investors in pursuit of profit. In the article, the authors discuss the stages of an initial public offering (IPO), from vision to implementation.

As Robert Carelli, Head of the Corporate Group in Montréal explains, there are many things to take into consideration prior to going public, including preparing the business and its leaders for the cultural change that public company status brings. “When you become public and regulated, you suddenly have to publicly disclose your growth strategies and your financial results – the fact that everything is now out in the open can take time to adjust to”, notes Robert.

Going public requires counsel from a team with a complete and accurate sense of the market, adds David Tardif. As a firm with deep expertise and board-based experience, “we are typically called on to support management in a critical, time-sensitive mission. Our clients cannot afford advisors that learn on-the-job”, he says.

Warren Katz, Managing Partner in Montréal, also discusses in the article the emergence of the dual-track approach: “Top executives looking for money generally have the option either to sell all or part of their business or to go public. More and more, we start and analyze both scenarios simultaneously, which gives our clients real-time data that we can use to determine the best alternative for their business.”

No matter the scenario, the firm is uniquely positioned to respond appropriately to developments as the process unfolds, adds Aniko Pelland. “We have the best people on board – people who can answer the most complex questions, but more importantly, who know in advance the issues and questions that are likely to arise in the client’s specific situation. There is very little that one of us in Montréal, or our colleagues across Canada, hasn’t dealt with before. Every client has the advantage of our team’s cumulative experience, which ultimately translates into saving time and money.”

Stikeman Elliott is often retained in a wide variety of equity and debt issuances. “We specialize in ensuring that novel issues satisfy regulatory scrutiny quickly and efficiently. Looking at the entirety of our practice, we can say that we have been at the forefront of many successful and significant offerings on both the equity and the debt side. This is another aspect of the comprehensive service that our clients value and appreciate,” says Robert Carelli.

In a context where IPOs remain relatively rare in Canada, operational grounding and linking are more important than ever. It is necessary to find the most experienced advisors so that you get a true picture of the market and have the necessary discussions up front. In Québec and across Canada, Stikeman Elliott has long been a leading advisor to businesses that are considering stock exchange listings.

Read our Going Public in Canada guide for an in-depth guide to identify, understand and review the steps leading to a stock exchange listing.

Click here for a PDF of the article in English.