The following In-House Advisor guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Louise Stonier, Legal Director and Company Secretary at Pets at Home Group Plc, provides practical insight into how to deal with an IPO and the challenges that arise when faced with an incredibly tight timetable.
Originally, I was a corporate finance lawyer in private practice. When I was 5 years PQE, a new role came up at Pets at Home for a Head of Legal. As they didn't have a legal department, it was really the head of nobody other than myself. They were expanding and wanted a company secretary and someone who could drive the property and joint venture side of the business. The company had been operating for years without a lawyer and as my presence became known, the general counsel workload gradually built up.
Not long after I started there was a management buyout. It was good because it meant I kept my hand in with corporate work. In 2010, the owner exited and we did a dual-track, getting ready for an IPO at the same time as a secondary buyout. That was quite a challenge; on the one hand I was getting a Board together for the IPO and putting share plans in place, and on the other
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