For 225+ years, the NYSE has been at the center of global capital markets. With a unique market model that excels at complex transactions, the deepest pool of liquidity and most expansive visibility platform in the world, we support companies large and small, as they access capital to grow their business, invest in people, innovation and expansion, and establish a publicly traded stock that creates strategic, financial and branding opportunities.
While there are a range of means for accessing capital markets, here are the top ways you can access the public markets for the first time. Each offers a unique path for listing based on your company’s unique needs:
An IPO is the most common way that companies choose to join the public markets in order to raise capital and establish a currency for investing in innovation, growth, acquisitions and employees. The U.S. equity market is consistently chosen given its concentration of capital and to tap the visibility offered to investors and customers.
This type of listing allows companies to list their shares directly and begin trading publicly on the NYSE, without issuing new shares via a traditional initial public offering. A direct listing is an option for private companies that do not have an immediate need to raise capital, but wish to provide liquidity for their existing shareholders while creating a publicly traded company.
A SPAC is a company formed for the purpose of raising proceeds through an IPO and using those funds to acquire an operating business. Experienced management teams (e.g., industry veterans or private equity experts) find an attractive acquisition target and use the proceeds to complete the acquisition, which results in the SPAC transforming itself into a listed operating company.
If you are a listed company and looking to join the NYSE, or an earlier stage start-up looking to access public capital, here are some additional paths:
Companies that are already listed on a U.S. exchange may transfer their listing to the NYSE. For qualified companies, the transfer process straightforward and free-of-charge. Transferred companies benefit from the NYSE network and the investor understanding of NYSE listings standards, as well as the superior liquidity and tighter spreads provided by the NYSE market model.
This type of listing allows a foreign company that already has a listing in its home market to become a public company in the U.S., without raising capital at the time of listing. Typically, the company lists in conjunction with the filing of a Form 20-F annual report. A quotation listing provides liquidity for U.S. investors holding the stock before the listing; the ability to provide equity compensation to U.S. employees; currency for U.S. acquisitions; and the ability to raise capital in the U.S. public markets.
Qualified companies trading on the OTC market may list on the NYSE either with or without a concurrent public offering. An OTC upgrade provides the benefit of the superior visibility and liquidity associated with an NYSE listing, as well as a broad exemption from the state Blue Sky laws.
In 2015, the SEC adopted Reg A+ to provide a less burdensome process which makes it easier for smaller, earlier stage companies to access capital funding than a traditional IPO. Through Reg A+, a U.S. or Canadian company can raise up to $50 million in a 12-month period using a “public solicitation” of its shares and have the offering be exempt from SEC and state securities law registration.