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Case study: Biotech firm achieves successful IPO

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<IPO case study: Biotech firm achieves successful IPOTHE CHALLENGE A life sciences company, which includes a biotech firm, had a potentially lucrative new product in late-stage trials and was looking for help with an IPO. Our Technology Industry Practice team had a prior auditor relationship with the company and its CFO, who brought us in to help manage the complicated process. Because of our strong knowledge of both the IPO process and the company, we were able to quickly ramp up, assessing the company’s books and records and identifying potential roadblocks prior to drafting Form S-1.

WHAT THE TEAM DID Our team quickly reviewed the company’s books over a period of five years, discovering a number of  legacy accounting issues. If left for IPO investor scrutiny, these types of issues could have had  the potential to slow down or derail the process. Going back a full five years — long before the start of the IPO process — helped provide the board and investors with the knowledge that the company had been thorough in  its approach, lessening the risk of potential restatements.

Positioned in the middle market with sales of just under $1 billion, the company was ideally suited to leverage the on-ramp provisions of the JOBS Act as a fundraising tool during the final product trial stage. For this client, the JOBS Act was especially helpful in streamlining the process and eliminating much of the need to spend development funds on additional regulatory compliance before the release of the new product.

Our team brought in specialists in accounting and SEC reporting rules and regulations at key points in the process. The company had complex debt and equity issues that the previous audit firm did not identify, and significant updates were required to enable a clean filing.

1 of 6 Case studyOUTCOMES The Grant Thornton team effectively managed the IPO process and the company successfully completed its IPO, raising the funds necessary to complete testing and meet the needs of an anticipated 2016 product launch. The company’s CFO noted that what set our team apart was that we brought the same level of commitment to the IPO as their management team and investors. As part of that commitment, we made sure we had a team in the field several days a week, ensuring that critical issues were identified in real time and enabling us to manage issues before they became bottlenecks. When you’re taking a company public, momentum is critical; by anticipating and eliminating roadblocks, we were able to help the biotech firm keep that momentum building until the IPO’s successful completion.

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Is going public right for your company? You may want to explore funding alternatives, including exempt offerings, crowdfunding, secondary market transactions and debt financing.

Contact: David Lewandoski
Partner, Audit Services
Leader, Technology Industry Practice
T +1 617 848 4839

Steven R. Perkins

National Managing Director
Technology Industry Practice
T +1 703 637 2830