Welcome to the third edition of The Initial Public Offerings Law Review. This publication introduces the reader to the main stock exchanges around the globe and their related initial public offering (IPO) regulatory environments, and provides insight into the legal and procedural IPO landscapes in 18 different jurisdictions. Each chapter gives a general overview of the IPO process in the region, addresses regulatory and exchange requirements, and presents key offering considerations.

The global IPO landscape is ever-changing. While several of the oldest stock exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange, are still at the forefront of the global IPO market, the world's major stock exchanges now are scattered around the globe and many are publicly traded companies themselves. IPOs take place in nearly every corner of the world and involve a wide variety of companies in terms of size, industry and geography. Aside from general globalisation, shifting investor sentiment and economic, political and regulatory factors have also influenced the development and evolution of the global IPO market.

Virtually all markets around the globe have experienced significant volatility in recent years; however, 2018 marked a year of continued resurgence for many IPO markets. The number of 2018 IPOs and total proceeds raised were led by the Asia-Pacific exchanges, which accounted for almost 50 per cent of deals in terms of both number and deal volume. China alone was responsible for 307 IPOs valued at US$56.7 billion. Many other regions also experienced strong IPO markets in 2018. Despite the temperamental nature of global economics, and the potential repercussions of various ongoing and expected geopolitical events, there is continued cautious optimism for 2019 in terms of both global deal count and proceeds. The global IPO pipeline includes many well-known companies across a range of industries, and it is anticipated that these companies will seek to list on a variety of stock exchanges around the world.

Every exchange operates with its own set of rules and requirements for conducting an IPO. Country-specific regulatory landscapes are often dramatically different among jurisdictions as well. Whether a company is looking to list in its home country or is exploring listing outside of its own jurisdiction, it is important that the company and its management are aware from the outset of the legal requirements as well as potential pitfalls that may impact the offering. Moreover, once a company is public, there are ongoing jurisdiction-specific disclosure and other requirements with which it must comply. This third edition of The Initial Public Offerings Law Review introduces the intricacies of taking a company public in these jurisdictions, and serves as a guide for issuers and their directors and management.

David J Goldschmidt
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
New York
March 2019