Do you speak Wall Street? Your initial public offering documents in English

Major international consulting firms regularly use translation agencies for their financial translations. They rely on these services, particularly for the initial public offerings of companies in the regulated market.

In France, these initial public offerings are regulated by the AMF (Autorité des Marchés Financiers – French Financial Markets Authority). They follow a precise schedule and require the preparation of various documents.

A company wishing to go public (the issuer) must make a prospectus available to the public, which is first subject to the AMF’s stamp of approval. This prospectus comprises a core document, an offering memorandum and a summary.

The issuer’s core document is usually made available to the public ahead of the offer period in order to make the issuer known in the market. It is then subject to a first approval by the AMF. The offering memorandum is produced during the second stage. It is supplemented by a summary of the prospectus and published, at the latest, on the day that the tender offer opens. It lays out the features of the securities offered and the financial operations, and is then subject to a second approval by the AMF.

In order to maintain the competitiveness of the French marketplace and, like its European counterparts, France’s stock exchange regulator allows companies to prepare a prospectus in English. A French version of the prospectus summary must also be produced.

Many challenges to be met

The documents which constitute the issuer’s prospectus must be translated, then verified by a second translator, before they are submitted to the AMF for approval.

Documents submitted to the AMF cannot be guesswork. Not only must these documents adhere strictly to the content and format imposed by European regulations and AMF policy, they must also meet the demands of stakeholders involved in the initial public offering process, in terms of how the company is presented and its marketing efforts. These stakeholders are the issuer’s general and financial directorates, its advisors, the financial institutions (banks) responsible for distributing securities, their advisors, potential investors, and the investee’s past shareholders, etc.

There are, of course, constraints: you must often abide by a very tight timeline imposed by the schedule, and comply with the regulations in force for this type of communication. The utmost rigour is required in carrying out the translation work.

How does it work in practice?

To begin with, the company or its advisors must submit the core document in French. This strategic document includes the most up-to-date, key information about the company.

As soon as the translated document has been finalised, the company must submit it to the AMF.

The time allotted for its translation and verification is therefore timed to the second Furthermore, as the document is drafted by different stakeholders, changes are usually made right up until the last minute before its submission to the AMF. In addition to schedule constraints, the translator must therefore also juggle multiple versions.

Translators specialising in financial communication are chosen for this task.

At the same time, the figures need to be highlighted and examined.

A final proofreading is carried out internally.

Our linguists report any mistakes found in the French version as they progress.

The client then receives a core document which has been translated into English and is identical to the French version.

Both versions will be submitted together to the AMF, so that potential francophone and anglophone investors are equally informed.

The creation of a document in English or another language and the quality of the translated document contribute to the success of the initial public offering.

If you require financial translations, we can help you find the best solution; just contact us!

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