S&S Air Goes Public Mark Sexton and Todd Story have been discussing the future of S&S Air. The company has been experiencing fast growth, and the two see only clear skies in the company’s future. However, the fast growth can no longer be funded by internal sources, so Mark and Todd have decided the time is right to take the company public. To this end, they have entered into discussions with the investment bank of Crowe & Mallard. The company has a working relationship with Renata Harper, the underwriter who assisted with the company’s previous bond offering. Crowe & Mallard have assisted numerous small companies in the IPO process, so Mark and Todd feel confident with this choice. Renata begins by telling Mark and Todd about the pro- cess. Although Crowe & Mallard charged an underwriter fee of 4 percent on the bond offering, the underwriter fee is 7 percent on all initial stock offerings of the size of S&S Air’s offering. Renata tells Mark and Todd that the company can expect to pay about $1,800,000 in legal fees and expenses, $12,000 in SEC registration fees, and $15,000 in other fil- ing fees. Additionally, to be listed on the NASDAQ, the com- pany must pay $100,000. There are also transfer agent fees of $6,500 and engraving expenses of $520,000. The company should also expect to pay $110,000 for other expenses associ- ated with the IPO. Finally, Renata tells Mark and Todd that to file with the SEC, the company must provide three years’ audited financial statements. She is unsure about the costs of the audit. Mark tells Renata that the company provides audited financial state- ments as part of the bond covenant, and the company pays $300,000 per year for the outside auditor. QUESTIONS 1. At the end of the discussion, Mark asks Renata about the Dutch auction IPO process. What are the differences in the expenses to S&S Air if it uses a Dutch auction IPO versus a traditional IPO? Should the company go public through a Dutch auction or use a traditional underwritten offering? 2. During the discussion of the potential IPO and S&S Air’s future, Mark states that he feels the company should raise $75 million. However, Renata points out that if the com- pany needs more cash in the near future, a secondary of- fering close to the IPO would be problematic. Instead she suggests that the company should raise $90 million in the IPO. How can we calculate the optimal size of the IPO? What are the advantages and disadvantages of increasing the size of the IPO to $90 million? 3. After deliberation, Mark and Todd have decided that the company should use a firm commitment offering with Crowe & Mallard as the lead underwriter. The IPO will be for $75 million. Ignoring underpricing, how much will the IPO cost the company as a percentage of the funds received? 4. Many employees of S&S Air have shares of stock in the company because of an existing employee stock purchase plan. To sell the stock, the employees can tender their shares to be sold in the IPO at the offering price, or the employees can retain their stock and sell it in the second- ary market after S&S Air goes public. Todd asks you to advise the employees about which option is best. What would you suggest to the employees?
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