Go Public -- Fast -- Cheap
Normal 0 Let's fact the facts, there is no battle more fierce than the battle for money. The competition can be brutal. We all can remember the emotion of what its like to be ...
Let's fact the facts, there is no battle more fierce than the battle for money. The competition can be brutal.
We all can remember the emotion of what its like to be the loser and how much we want to avoid that at all costs.
We see every day as we walk around or drive around, what the winners look like -- they have the things we want -- the cars, the women, the houses, the toys, the prestige and status. Their families prosper. Their companies have unlimited expansion. They are on the covers of the business magazines. They are invited to the right parties and move in the right circles. They can afford to make large donations to their favorite charities.
Losers ultimately get to sleep under bridges and eat out of garbage pails. No money, no friends, no nothing.
In order to be one of those winners we have to be the one who wins the competition for money. There is only one winner and he gets the money. Second place is first of the losers -- nothing. Only the winner has the prize.
In this deadly serious competition for money and its benefits, there is one tool that has value above all others. The Initial Public Offering. Going public. Creating a public company, whether it is through an underwriting or a reverse merger with a public shell.
When you go public, you have access to capital. Venture capital. Capital for expansion. You can sell stock. You can do PIPE deals and get venture capital. You can raise money more easily.
You have the prestige of being a public company.
You can attract and keep better employees by giving them stock options.
In effect, you can print your own money by issuing stock to buy things. You can buy other companies and you can buy assets with stock when you go public.
Most importantly, you, you investors and your key employees with stock options have liquidity. You can sell in the market and get fast cash.
How to Go Public
There are several ways to go public. One is the conventional underwritten offering, the classic IPO. To often, today, this door of opportunity is open to only a few.
A second, very popular way is the reverse merger with a public shell. This widely used method can be expensive, with companies paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and handing over a substantial percentage of their stock to boot. Reverse mergers are also fraught with dangers – the dirty shell with hidden liabilities and manipulation of the stock by the shell promoters leaving the company with a destroyed stock price and a crippled reputation for something they did not do.
Another, little known way is to make a self-filing with the SEC. Many people do not realize is that they can use this method to take their company public without placing their family jewel in the hands of a Wall Street underwriter. They can control the deal. They can price the deal. They have the confidence of knowing there are no hidden liabilities. They can keep the cash and the stock they would have had to give away in a reverse merger. They can control their destiny.
You can also use an SEC exemption to go public, for example, Regulation A. This allows you to raise up to $5 million in an abbreviated filing.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John E. Lux is a former market maker, a trader, security analyst and investment banker. You can learn more about reverse mergers at http://www.reverse-mergers.info and more about venture capital and going public at http://www.asklux.com