: GOING PUBLIC - MEETING THE CHALLENGE
There are significant responsibilities involved in being a public company listed on the ECSE. A company must manage itself professionally. It has to allow shareholder participation in decision making. It must remain transparent in its activities by reporting and disclosing information regularly. It must also satisfy listing requirements.
1. Sharing Ownership
A public company is responsible to its enlarged pool of shareholders and must consider them when making business decisions. The company must act in the best interest of all of its shareholders.
2. Meeting Disclosure and Registration Requirements
In order to sell new issues and list on the ECSE, the company is obliged to distribute a prospectus that describes its activities, organisation, financial structure and performance. It must also satisfy the listing requirements of the Exchange as approved by the Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission. To remain listed on the ECSE, a company must publish quarterly unaudited and annual audited financial reports.
3. Satisfying the Listing Requirements
A company must be listed in order for its securities to be traded on the ECSE. The listing serves to identify participating public companies that meet the high standards of business practice set by the the ECSE and approved by the Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission. A company listed on the ECSE must meet specific criteria in the following areas:
- Qualification requirements
- Listing application requirements
- Disclosure and reporting
- Legal Requirements
- Fees and dues
The main disclosure requirements set by the Securities Act for a new company seeking to go public include facts about management structure, percentages of ownership, financial health, short and long-term objectives, risks, obstacles and competition. A thorough business plan that details this information must also be presented in compliance with the Securities Act and made available to investors. This information package - commonly known as a prospectus - must first be approved by the Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission before distribution to investors. It is designed to educate potential investors about the risks and benefits of an investment in the company. The company must also file a registration statement with the Securities Commission indicating its size and the amount of capital to be raised.