Case Study

WilliamsMarston Clears the Way for a Seamless IPO Journey

Learn how WM led a high-growth franchisor through its IPO process and ensured its financial statements aligned with public company standards.

The Challenge

A franchisor in the personal care industry required technical accounting and SEC reporting expertise to guide the organization through its IPO.

With significant turnover and change in the accounting department, including the departure of the Chief Accounting Officer and the appointment of a new Chief Financial Officer, the company encountered a knowledge gap at a critical juncture.

The new CFO recognized the need for a high-caliber team to support the company’s initial public offering (IPO) journey, including finding a replacement for an underperforming third-party accounting advisor.

The franchisor had aggressive audit and S-1 filing deadlines, plus a high volume of prior period adjustments to evaluate through SAB 99 analysis. There were also numerous complex accounting issues to document and pass through a Big 4 National Office review.

Complex Up-C restructuring required subject-matter expertise to evaluate tax implications and disclosures – expertise that WM was fully prepared to provide.

The Solution

WM’s accounting and tax advisory experts led the company’s IPO readiness efforts.

Attributable to a successful prior working engagement with the Chairman of the company’s Audit Committee, the CFO chose WM to prepare the organization for its IPO efforts.

The WM team made several key contributions. First, they prepared the S-1 financial statements, MD&A and pro-forma disclosures and supported the PCAOB audit process within an accelerated three-month period, resulting in an on-time initial filing that aligned with the board’s expectations.

WM also evaluated and documented conclusions on 12 technical accounting matters, including stock valuation and classification, non-controlling interests and intangible asset valuation considerations. The WM team was critical in their advising on best practices related to the company’s Up-C restructuring and also in the resolution of SEC comments during the review process.

Post-IPO, WM supported the company with reviewing disclosures for accuracy and completeness for all 1934 Act filings (10-Ks and 10-Qs) for the newly public entity, as well as offered technical accounting support through several post-IPO transactions, including a follow-on offering and complex debt issuance.

The Result

A strong partnership and sharp execution cleared the way for a successful IPO while laying the foundation for a long-term relationship.

Minimal comments from the SEC on accounting-related disclosures resulted in no delays in the registration statement going effective.

The strong partnership and sharp execution throughout the IPO journey resulted in WM becoming the preferred advisor for all complex technical accounting and SEC reporting matters faced by this newly public company.


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“I could not have made it through our initial public offering without the team from WilliamsMarston to field so many complicated issues. You have been fantastic, and it’s been a pleasure to reach this milestone with you!”Chief Financial Officer
IPO Company

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“I am sure we had one of the most complicated preferred stock conversions at our IPO than any other company. We appreciated your help. You made us look good, and we look forward to continuing to work with you.”Chief Financial Officer
IPO Company

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“I wanted to share my thanks for all the work WilliamsMarston did. Thanks to your great work, I felt confident going into the audit prepared.”VP Finance
Private Company

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“I continue to be impressed and grateful with the level of attention and technical expertise your team consistently provides.”Senior Finance Director
Public Company


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