Capital Markets Services

Taking your company from private to public through an initial Public Offering (IPO) is a transformational change that can deliver huge financial rewards and growth opportunities. It will certainly be an intense period for the management team. Your goals and challenges are key to us, whether you are preparing for an IPO, executing an IPO or additional fundraising. However much support you need, our goal is to help you achieve a successful outcome. Our dedicated capital markets specialists can help assess your company's IPO readiness for a listing, we can act as your Reporting Accountant and guide you through executing the complex IPO process and we can support you on further transactions post IPO.

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Your IPO Journey

You should not underestimate the time and resources it will take to prepare your business for a successful IPO. An IPO process can be an intense process demanding commitment of substantial time and resource. This is on top of the day to day management of your business.

We always recommend you invest as much as you can, as early as you can, in preparing for an IPO. By preparing well in advance, you will:

  • Identify and resolve potential issues early
  • Reduce pressure on management at the time of IPO
  • Ensure that the company is ready for an IPO when market conditions are optimal.

IPO Readiness

The first step on the IPO journey should be to undertake a review of your business. This review should examine your equity story, corporate structure and tax position, your financial and management reporting and the markets available to your business.

Our IPO-readiness assessment is free, quick and easy to complete and provides an initial guide to what your business needs to do to achieve a successful IPO.


The report includes practical insights and recommendations and will identify potential future obstacles so you can start addressing them. We use this review to highlight the priority areas you should focus on. Please get in touch with our Capital Markets specialists to discuss the results or your company’s IPO plans.

Post-IPO Support

An IPO is usually just the beginning of the story. Public companies are under much greater public and regulatory scrutiny with higher reporting requirements and a wider range of stakeholder needs to consider. We can support you with a full spectrum of services including financial reporting, corporate governance and risk management, tax and remuneration planning and post-IPO transactions, integration and separation support.

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Reporting Accountant Services

Since 2014, we have acted as reporting accountant on over 170 completed capital markets transactions, including more than 80 IPOs. We have been the leading reporting accountant on AIM IPOs over the last ten years. We can help by acting as your reporting accountant during the IPO process. We can also provide a sounding board for any recommendations you receive from your lead investment bank and other advisers.

What is a Reporting Accountant?

A Reporting Accountant provides certain 'public' opinions required by the rules governing capital markets transactions including providing assurance over a business’s financial track record. The Reporting Accountant will also perform financial due diligence for the directors and the Sponsor or Nominated Adviser (Nomad).

In order to complete market transactions, the London Stock Exchange can require several reports and opinions from your Reporting Accountant. These will differ depending on the nature of the transaction and the requirements of the company's Sponsor, Nomad or other adviser.

You can use the below as a guide to the kind of information you will be expected to provide. Transactions on international markets may require different reports. Our team works closely with our international network around the world to ensure you get the support you need, wherever the transaction is taking place.

If you are undecided as to whether an IPO or private sale is the right option for your business, you could also consider a dual-track process which can maximise optionality for your shareholders? Our guide to planning a mature business exit details the different solutions available to you.

Exit IPO Readiness overview

Review of Main and AIM markets

Explore latest transaction activity such as IPOs, fundraises, sector trends and significant deals on our UK Capital Market Insights page.

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The Accountant’s Report is an opinion given on your company’s three-year historical financial information and is very similar to an audit opinion. This can also be referred to as the “short form report”. Most capital markets transactions require at least the last three years’ fully audited accounts under IFRS or certain other GAAPs for non-EU incorporated companies.

Depending on the transaction and stock market, fully audited accounts may be needed on any significant acquisitions proposed or that have occurred in the last three years.

If the last audited year-end is not recent, then interim financial information may need to be prepared.

For some transactions (typically where an acquisition has been made), pro forma financial information will be prepared for inclusion in the investment circular. We can provide an opinion on whether these pro forma statements have been properly compiled. Depending on the choice of stock exchange, this opinion will be either a private report addressed to the Company and its Sponsor/Nomad or made public through the investment circular.

This is a private due diligence report addressed to the Company and its Sponsor or Nomad. Our report will seek to identify potential issues and will typically cover the following areas:

  • History of the business
  • Commercial activities of the business
  • Organisation structure and employees
  • Financial reporting environment
  • Trading results
  • Assets and liabilities
  • Cash flows
  • Taxation

The working capital report is a private report addressed to the Company and its Sponsor or Nomad. It supports a statement that the directors need to make in the investment circular concerning working capital. To create the report, we will review your projections for a post-transaction period of 18 months or more from the date of the proposed listing.

Your management team will need to prepare an integrated monthly projections model that is capable of sensitivity analysis. 

As part of the IPO process, Directors (including NEDs) must ensure that your company has procedures in place for establishing and reporting the company’s financial position and prospects that are appropriate for a UK public listed company.

In order to evidence this, the Directors are typically required to prepare a board memo, documenting the procedures in place. We can assist you through the provision of example templates, and expert guidance on key areas of focus including what other similar Companies do.

For a main market listing and larger AIM listings the Sponsor or Nomad is likely to request your reporting accountant to prepare their own separate report commenting on certain areas of the Companies FPP procedures.

In addition to the above private and public reports, as part of the UK listing process your reporting accountant will be expected to provide to the Company and its Sponsor/Nomad a series of private comfort letters.

For larger IPO’s, normally only on the main market, your sponsor may recommend a US offering. Where this is a case a specialist SAS 72 or SAS 72 lookalike comfort letter is likely to be required which will need to comply with US standards. We work closely with our specialist US letter team to ensure that these can be provided.

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John Stephan

John Stephan

Deal Advisory Partner - M&A
Head of Global M&A
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