Many private companies ponder if and when they will need an investor relations program. While it may
seem like a non-essential service for a private company, partnering with the right IR firm can be a
strategic way to begin educating the investment community on the investment opportunity with your
brand, no matter what your exit plan is. Preparing for the future is a critical step in positioning
yourselves for an exit, whether it is going public, being acquired or a merger.
Below are some important questions to consider when deciding if it’s time to start outreach to buy side
investors and sell side analysts and if you should engage with an IR firm.
Is your corporate messaging and strategy aligned? Does your corporate strategy hold up to various
stress scenarios? Have you gone through all possible scenarios with your executive team to ensure you have plans in place for these scenarios? Have you weighed the pros and cons of various exit strategies? An IR team can help you work through these questions and strategize the best exit plan.
Do you have a messaging plan that clearly lays out your company’s value proposition? What materials do you have in place that tell your story in a crisp and compelling way? Investor decks and event
presentation decks must clearly and concisely speak to the key items the investment community will want to know about your company. Ensure that your management team is on the same page and pushing the same message forward.
Have you done your homework? Begin to familiarize yourself with the landscape of funds that could be interested in investing in your company. Look at comparable companies’ investor bases as well as sell side analyst coverage. Understanding the investor profile of a target investor before one-on-one meetings at an industry event will ensure you are laser-focused on the right investment partners for your company.
How have you planned ahead? When your company starts to think about entertaining a public offering, it is critical to allow potential investors the time to complete their due diligence. Allow ample time for non-deal roadshows and for analysts to take the time to dig into your financials and story. Planning a
robust meeting calendar for the 6-12 months prior to an IPO should be enough time to foster these
Do you know how to go from being private to public? If you do decide to IPO, there are many rules and regulations that must be adhered to once you are a public company. Navigating the listing process with
the exchanges and understanding Reg FD can be an enormous undertaking, but it is a critical step in IPO preparation. Having an IR program will ensure you navigate this process with efficiency and ease.
There are many things to consider if and when your company decides to go public. Partnering with a seasoned IR firm can help navigate the waters of each element of the process, including setting up impactful meetings with potential investors, bankers or analysts as well as preparing investor decks that represent your company to its fullest potential. Understanding the rules and regulations and what is expected of a public company is key, and Gilmartin Group can help educate your C-suite on these nuances. Contact us today to understand the scope of our work and how we have helped numerous private companies think about their current and future opportunities.
Jessica Bornn, Principal