Fred Bos, Senior Managing Director at ABN AMRO, is responsible for the process regarding ABN AMRO’s IPO. He explains how the IPO works.
Today, 10 November, is an important day in the preparations for the bank’s intended IPO: the prospectus is being published. This document contains relevant information for an investor who is considering buying depositary receipts for shares in ABN AMRO. The prospectus was written in close consultation with the underwriting banks. This was a long, arduous job requiring great attention to detail. It involved reading many drafts, making sure all parties agree to the contents and how the text is formulated, and continuously checking to see what else needs to be included. By now, I have reviewed many drafts of this hefty document. So I’ve done quite a lot of reading in the past few months! Our Employee Council has advised approval of the IPO, as has the European Staff Council.
The same information for all
The banks arranging the IPO use the prospectus to inform potential investors about ABN AMRO. It’s very important that everybody has access to exactly the same information. The Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets made sure the prospectus contains all legally required information and reviewed it for consistency and plain language. You can download the prospectus here.
Information for retail investors
The prospectus is written in English and contains a wealth of information. Investors will read this document very closely - as they should, since they want to know exactly what they are investing in.
The next steps
The members of the Managing Board will spend the coming weeks on management road shows, visiting potential investors in several countries. Investors can personally ask questions about the bank and the intended IPO. Investors will then decide whether or not to subscribe in the ‘book’. The subscription period is referred to as ‘book-building’. Investors state in the book how many depositary receipts for shares they want to buy and at what price per share. At the end of the book-building period, the introduction price and number of depositary receipts for shares offered will be set. This will be publicly announced in a pricing statement on the day before the first day of listing. The book-building period is another special phase in this process. I’m looking forward to it!
Intended IPO on 20 November?
The Dutch Finance Minister has consistently stated that the intended IPO of ABN AMRO could take place as from the fourth quarter of 2015. The prospectus states, for the first time, a target date for the intended IPO. The first day of listing is expected to be 20 November. I’m happy we now have a specific date. Whether the intended IPO actually takes place on this date will be decided the evening before.
NLFI, the foundation that manages the depositary receipts for shares of ABN AMRO on behalf of the Dutch State, will gradually reduce the government’s shareholding in ABN AMRO. If all goes well, 20 November will be a memorable day, for clients, society, shareholders, my colleagues and myself. I can’t wait.