FCA consultation availability of information in the UK equity IPO process
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a consultation on proposed changes to the Handbook.
These changes are to ensure that an approved prospectus or registration document is published, and unconnected analysts can access the issuer's management, before any connected research is released. The consultation also seeks views on proposed new Handbook guidance clarifying the FCA's expectations regarding analysts' interactions with issuers' management and their corporate finance advisers.
The joint working party of the Company Law Committees of the City of London Law Society (CLLS) and the Law Society of England and Wales has responded to the consultation paper.
It agreed that connected research should continue to play a role in the UK IPO process because research coverage, and the role that connected analysts play, is positive for the market. Connected research provides commentary on the issuer form a broader market perspective and results in better quality information being available overall.
The joint working party also felt it would be helpful for the FCA to clarify its expectations regarding the role of a sponsor in the revised process, including whether the preparation of a registration document requires the appointment of a sponsor under Listing Rule 8.2.