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What is a 'Road Show'

A road show is a presentation given by an issuer of securities to potential buyers. The management of a company or its underwriters issuing securities or doing an initial public offering (IPO) travels around the country to give presentations to analysts, fund managers, and potential investors. The road show is intended to generate excitement and interest in the issue or IPO, and is often critical to the success of the offering.

BREAKING DOWN 'Road Show'

A road show moves across many locations that are scheduled in advance and completed over a specific time period. Road shows may be limited to one country or may include international stops. Within the United States, some common destinations include Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. Most road shows are run by underwriters associated with the company preparing the offering in question. The underwriters travel to meet institutional investors, such as mutual funds and hedge funds, to interest them in the security (likely a stock issuance or bond offering) that they are bringing to the market.

Road Show Events

Road show events may attract hundreds of prospective buyers interested in learning more about the offering. The events may include multimedia presentations and question-and-answer sessions with several of the company's officers present. Many companies take advantage of the internet and post versions of road show presentations online. In addition to the larger road show events, companies may also hold smaller, private meetings in the months and weeks preceding the offering.

Information Presented in a Road Show

Road shows cover a variety of topics including the company’s history and any future plans for growth. Information about the company’s current assets, whether tangible or intangible, can be presented, as well as a sales pitch regarding the upcoming offering.

Aside from providing information regarding the offering, the road show allows the company the opportunity to answer questions that may be posed by skeptics in the marketplace. It provides a forum where the company can communicate directly with potential stakeholders to address any potential concerns. The underwriters also use information gathered from investors to complete the book-building process, which involves gathering prices potential investors are willing to pay for the offering.

After the Completion of the Road Show

Once a road show is completed, the final prospectus is created and distributed to potential investors. This prospectus is also filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). An initial price for the offering is set based on the information gathered during the book-building process, and the IPO date is solidified.

Non Deal Roadshow

A non deal roadshow (NDR) occurs when executives hold discussions with current and potential investors but nothing is offered for sale. On such roadshows, no equity or debt securities are being offered. NDRs are simply carried out to provide public information to investors, including information such as a company's existing business and vision for the future. Basically, an NDR involves meeting with various important investors to keep the investors current on how the business is going.

A road show provides an introduction of the offering to potential investors, and was considered a key non-financial factor in buying decisions made by 82% of institutional investors in regards to IPOs in a 2014 study by EY.

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