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All Companies Can Now File IPO Paperwork Confidentially

June 10, 2017

Fenwick securities and corporate finance co-chair Jeff Vetter spoke with NPR’s Marketplace Morning Report and USA Today about a new Securities and Exchange Commission rule that allows all companies, regardless of size, to file IPO paperwork confidentially.

Previously, businesses with over a billion dollars in revenue could not file confidentially.

Discussing the new policy’s potential impact, Vetter told NPR that, “Nearly every IPO company could already have [filed confidentially], because there are very few companies with over a billion dollars in revenue.”

However, he noted that large companies may now be more willing to take that first step.

The ability to file confidentially has attractive benefits. Vetter explained to USA Today that because companies filing for IPO registration must wait several months before trading, they are exposed to a possible stock market downturn that could dampen investors' appetite during the wait period.

If market conditions force a company to cancel their IPO, it could appear "damaged goods," he said. "And you're a private company and your information is out there." Under the new rule, companies no longer need to worry about this.

The full podcast is available through NPR’s Marketplace. Also see the full USA Today article.​​