Helping businesses float – Western Australia’s quiet IPO achiever

For Western Australian companies preparing to take the plunge and launch an initial public offering (IPO) more and more are turning to the local expertise of the HLB Mann Judd team in Perth.

In the last three years 17% of WA companies listing on the ASX have engaged HLB Mann Judd as Investigating Accountant to help guide the process. The role requires rigorous financial and accounting due diligence to help disclose the necessary financial information required for the prospectus, which is the public document which underpins the offer.

HLB Mann Judd Managing Partner Perth, Norman Neill, said the investigating accountant played an integral part in the listing process.

“If you’re asking organisations or individuals to invest in your company they need to be able to make an informed decision and work out if the numbers stack up for them,” Mr Neill said.

“Our Audit and Assurance team bring a robust financial review and transparency to the preparation for a float.”

Mr Neill said listing could be a daunting process for a company and the role of advisors like HLB Mann Judd was to make sure the board and executive were `IPO ready’.

This involves ensuring a clear audit history, demonstrating a strong budget and compliance structure plus sound financial modelling in some cases.

“The leadership team of a company embarking on an IPO also need to fully understand the process, the regulatory milestones that need to be met and the demands that will be made on them in terms of time and workload,” Mr Neill said.

“Timing can also be crucial with the IPO and it is our job to ensure things are completed correctly the first time and that the ultimate outcome of listing and raising funds takes place in the shortest possible timeframe – but there can’t be any shortcuts taken.”

Mr Neill said HLB Mann Judd in Perth had provided IPO expertise to more than 50 companies since 2007 across a range of sectors and from large to small cap organisations.

Most recently in WA, HLB Mann Judd was investigating accountant supporting the float of cobalt and nickel explorer Galileo Mining Limited.

In late May, Galileo raised its target $15 million in a heavily oversubscribed IPO, with funds from the float earmarked to kick start exploration at two sites in Western Australia.

Galileo Managing Director Brad Underwood said HLB Mann Judd played an integral part in making sure the IPO timetable was met.

“As a private entity Galileo had not been audited for some time, so a reasonable amount of work, and liaison with HLB Mann Judd was required to ensure the financial information was at the standard expected for a listed company,” Mr Underwood said.

“They were able to quickly understand the operations and processes of Galileo in a short space of time, played a big part in the due diligence and worked well with the legal counsel involved in the IPO.”

Mr Neill said the HLB Mann Judd Perth team has a depth of knowledge to help companies preparing to go public, with head of Corporate and Audit Services Marcus Ohm recognised nationally for his work on IPO Watch, which analyses  Australian IPO activity each year and is regularly featured within the Australian media.