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Westwicke Blog

The Westwicke Blog is designed to deliver information and insights into the ever-changing world of investor relations and the capital markets, with a specific focus on the healthcare industry.

What You Need to Know About the Pricing and Allocation Process

Posted on October 16th, 2014. Posted by

Understanding the Pricing and Allocation Process

Completing an initial public offering (IPO) is a major milestone for your company, and a journey that involves many months (and in some cases years) of hard work and dedication. As you likely know, the timeline ends with the pricing and allocation of your IPO — a process that is short in duration but one of the most important steps in your path to becoming a public company.

What do you need to know about the pricing and allocation process to help you act in the best interest of your company and shareholders? Below, I walk you through the associated primary concepts.

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Form 8-K and Press Releases: Know the Difference When You Disclose News

Posted on October 8th, 2014. Posted by

Disclosing News

One of our clients, a recently public diagnostics company, settled an ongoing royalty dispute with a major pharmaceutical company. The settlement amount was significantly lower than what our client had accrued, resulting in nearly $750 thousand upside to their P&L in the upcoming quarter.

The company assumed they needed to issue a press release in addition to the Security Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) disclosure Form 8-K, but was a press release really merited?

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How to Communicate Bad News to Wall Street

Posted on September 19th, 2014. Posted by

Communicate Bad News to Wall Street

Even great companies with excellent management teams will face the inevitable challenge of having to communicate bad news to Wall Street. In a previous blog post, my colleague Tom McDonald discussed how to handle missing a quarter, but what about other results that can have a material impact on your business in the future?

In the healthcare industry, a number of things can go awry — a clinical trial that doesn’t meet your primary endpoint, a setback in your product’s regulatory approval process, a change in reimbursement policy, or a delay in your product launch date due to a manufacturing issue. Effectively communicating these scenarios with the Street can mitigate adverse reactions to your company’s reputation — and to your share price.

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The Biggest Mistakes Leading Up to an IPO

Posted on September 10th, 2014. Posted by

IPO Mistakes

The road to an initial public offering (IPO) can be long and arduous, and when not well planned and executed, subject to many missteps. Consider what happened recently to the Israeli biotech company, Vascular Biogenics (VBL Therapeutics). The company went public with an offering of 5.4 million shares. Less than a week later, the underwriters, Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, terminated the offering when an existing shareholder did not fund payment for shares it previously agreed to purchase in the offering, according to a VBL Therapeutics press release.

While VBL’s pullback is clearly a draconian scenario, other mistakes abound as companies move toward an IPO. What are the most common mistakes on the path to an IPO? How can your company prevent them, and what can you do if you’re already in the thick of them? Our team of experts at Westwicke tackled these questions recently in a round-table discussion. Here are excerpts of the conversation.

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Selecting Your IPO Bookrunners

Posted on September 3rd, 2014. Posted by

IPO Bookrunners

Bookrunners play a significant role in the execution of a successful IPO transaction. Too often, though, a private company CEO does not fully appreciate the importance of selecting the right bank(s) to lead their IPO. It is vital to find the bookrunner(s) with the right combination of capabilities, experience, and “fit.”

Here are seven key considerations for evaluating potential bookrunner(s) for your IPO:

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Must-Haves on Your Investor Day Guest List

Posted on August 20th, 2014. Posted by

Investor Day

An investor day is a perfect opportunity to get the public up to speed on your corporate story, but compiling the appropriate guest list can be tricky. Having coordinated nearly 100 investor days as a firm, we know exactly who you should be targeting to attract the perfect audience for your event.

Current shareholders and covering analysts
First, and perhaps most obvious, you should invite your current shareholders and your covering analysts. These two groups have a vested interest in understanding every aspect of your business and will be most engaged and active in the discussions during the event. Additionally, given their relationships with your company, this group will show the highest attendance rate.

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Jumpstart Your Planning for the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

Posted on August 13th, 2014. Posted by

JP Morgan Healthcare Conference

While most of Wall Street is focusing on second quarter earnings and squeezing in vacations before Labor Day, it’s never too early to begin preparing for the J.P. Morgan 33rd Annual Healthcare Conference in San Francisco this January, the premier healthcare investment conference of the year. If you are planning to attend but haven’t started thinking about logistics, you are already a little behind. Much of the meeting space and hotel rooms are already spoken for, so the time to start making arrangements is now.

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The IPO Express Lane: Steps You Can Take Now to Expedite Your IPO, Part II

Posted on August 6th, 2014. Posted by

IPO, Part 2

Your board is telling you to go public. Your peers are telling you that this IPO window may close at any moment. You believe your company is compelling enough for an IPO, but are you actually in the position to get one done in short order? How can you make an IPO move faster?

In my last post, I went over key — and sometimes overlooked — housekeeping items you can do to hit the ground running for an IPO, such as ensuring you have the right lawyers and auditors in place and getting a head start on your presentation and website. In this post, I’ll go over strategic choices that you’ll want to think through as soon as possible to improve your chances of a speedy and successful entry into the public markets.

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The IPO Express Lane: Steps to Expedite Your IPO, Part I

Posted on July 23rd, 2014. Posted by

From Startup to IPO

Despite some signs of resistance, initial public offerings (IPOs) continue to move along at a robust pace. With fears that the window may close, some company boards and management teams find themselves scrambling to enter the mix before it is too late. Perhaps by reflex, the first thing they often do is pick up the phone to call an investment bank.

However, before you join their ranks and take your first banker pitch, there are some key – and sometimes overlooked – steps you can take now to ensure you hit the ground running.

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The Eight Biggest IR Mistakes

Posted on July 16th, 2014. Posted by

IR Mistakes

Whether your company is on the road to an initial public offering (IPO) or currently operating as a publicly traded company, cultivating and then maintaining a strong relationship with Wall Street requires strategic planning and thoughtful execution. Interacting with the buy-side and sell-side is not a simple process, and we often observe companies making mistakes in their investor relations (IR) programs that can damage management’s credibility with the Street.

What are some common IR mistakes healthcare companies make, and how can you avoid them? To answer, I turned recently to the Westwicke team — and its more than 200 years of combined Wall Street experience. Here’s what they told me.

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