Twitter IPO unlikely to be hurt by federal shutdown unless it drags on

Fenwick & West securities co-chair Jeff Vetter spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle regarding the potential impact of a partial U.S. government shutdown on the initial public offering planned by Twitter.

Utilizing an alternative created in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, Twitter had to wait 21 days after making its prospectus public before starting its road show — a period of up to two weeks in which company leaders travel and market their IPO offering to investors.

“When you finish your road show — the last day tends to be on a Thursday — on that afternoon, the SEC declares your registration effective. You price your deal and can start sending out confirmations to investors” who purchased the stock, Vetter explained.

So unless the Securities and Exchange Commission office closes, Twitter could expect to begin trading in around five weeks.

Under the JOBS Act alternative, Twitter had filed a confidential IPO registration statement with the SEC. This maneuver allowed the company to receive comments from the SEC and make revisions to its IPO prospectus before making it public.

Asked why file confidentially, Vetter said, "If a company decides not to go public, by staying in confidential mode, you don’t have that play out publicly.
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