Reverse Merger With a Public Shell:
A “reverse merger” is a method by which a private company goes public. In a reverse merger, a private company merges with a public company with no assets or liabilities. The publicly traded corporation is called a “public shell” since all that exists is its corporate structure. By merging into such an entity, a private company becomes public.
The Private company merges into a public company and obtains the majority of its stock (usually 90% or more). The private company normally will change the name of the public corporation (often to its own name) and will appoint and elect its management and board directors.
The advantages of public trading status, which are outlined in greater detail below, include the possibility of commanding a higher price for a later offering of the company’s securities. Going public through either a reverse merger or a registered spin-off (described below) allows a private company to go public, typically at a lesser cost and with less stock dilution than through an initial public offering (IPO).
In an IPO, the process of going public and raising capital is combined. In a registered spin-off or reverse merger, these two functions are unbundled – a company can go public without raising additional captial. Through this unbundling operation, the process of going public is simplified greatly.
The Private Company which has gone public obtains the benefits of public trading of its securities, namely:
Increased liquidity of the ownership shares of the company.
Higher share price and thus higher company valuation.
Greater access to the capital markets through the possibility of future stock offerings.
The ability of the company to make acquisitions of other companies using the company’s stock.
The ability to use stock incentive plans to attract and retain key employees.
Going public can be a part of a retirement strategy for business owners.
Simply by merging into a public company, a private corporation can increase its value by three to five times.
Considerable tax advantages are available through the reverse mergers, and proper exit strategies.
The newly created value can become part of an estate providing value not only for the founders, but for generations to come.
The Benefits of going public through a reverse merger, as apposed to an IPO:
The costs are signifigantly less than the costs required for an IPO.
The time is considerably less than that for an IPO.
Additional risk is involved in an IPO in that the IPO may be withdrawn due to an unstable market condition, even after most of the up-front-costs have been expended.
IPO’s generally require greater attention from top management.
An IPO requires a relatively long and stable earnings history.
There is less dilution of ownership control.
The company does not require an underwriter.
You will receive a higher valuation for your company.
Once a company is taken public through a reverse merger, or a registered spin-off, the financial markets hold the following future prospects in the capital markets for the newly public corporation:
The market value of a public company is often substantially higher than a private company with the same structure in the same industry.
Capital is easier to raise for public companies because the stock has market value and can be traded.
The public corporation may be used for special purposes, such as qualifying as a category two company for overseas offerings pursuant to Regulation S.
The trading price of the public company’s securities serves as a benchmark for the offer price of a subsequent public or private securities offering.
Acquisitions can be made with the stock since publicly traded stock is viewed as currency for mergers and acquisitions.
Form S-8 stock can be issued for consultants.
It is essential that public companies, especially newly public companies, actively maintain and manage a financial communications program.
A newly formed public company would be well-advised to invest in consulting services, to plan and execute a strategy for building and maintaining an active interest in your company within the financial community.
Consultants are available to assist the public corporation in providing corporate relations services intended to increase awareness of your company on Wall Street.
For most people, recapitalization and stock value appreciation would seem reasons enough to be publicly owned, but there are other advantages that a company can gain. A public company has a broader equity base, thus increasing it’s opportunities for obtaining financing for future projects. Increasing the bottom line net worth of a company, as well as its debt to equity ratio, enables it to borrow at lower interest rates from traditional institutions.