Going Public: Weighing the Pros and Cons for Your Private Beverage Company

Last Updated on: 22nd March 2024, 02:09 pm

In the ever-changing and dynamic business landscape, business owners often have to make critical decisions to scale their business, ensuring growth, expansion, and success. One of these decisions is to transition from a private company to a public one.

If you own a private beverage company and have been considering going public, continue reading this article to learn more about the pros and cons of transitioning from a private firm to a public one to help you decide.

The Basics of Transitioning

The process of transitioning from a private to a public company, called Initial Public Offering (IPO), has several steps mandated by legal provisions. Besides removing share transfer restrictions generally imposed on private companies, it also includes changing the company’s name. If the company’s name consists of the word ‘Private,’ the name would have to change to exclude it.

An IPO has several advantages and disadvantages. Though it can help attract investors and raise significant capital, switching can be costly and time-consuming. The decision to go public must be carefully thought upon, and you must consider the company’s future and present needs, financial health, and risk tolerance.

The Pros

Here are the advantages of making your beverage company public:

1.    Access to Greater Capital

Raising capital is one of the main reasons private companies decide to go public. The IPO allows the company to raise significant capital by selling shares to the public in the stock market. Additionally, by being listed on the stock exchange, the company gains access to a much larger pool of potential investors than the limited range available to private companies.

The companies can use the generated capital for various purposes, including funding expansion, acquisitions, or debt repayment. The additional capital would also help in funding research and development endeavors. For example, if you have a private label wine business, going public can help you raise funds for investing in newer grape varieties, researching and trying out different production methods, and developing newer marketing strategies.

2.    Increased Visibility and Credibility

Public companies often receive significant media coverage during and after the IPO process. This exposure raises public awareness, attracts potential investors, and creates a buzz around the company’s beverages, production methods, and prospects. Increased visibility through media coverage and stock market listings leads to greater brand recognition among consumers and other businesses. This can lead to improved customer perception, increased market share, and easier attraction of top talent.

Public companies also enjoy greater credibility. Completing an IPO suggests to the investors, customers, and partners that the company is financially stable, well-managed, and has strong growth potential. This validation adds legitimacy and trust to the company’s brand and operations.

3.    Liquidity for Shareholders

Liquidity refers to the ease with which an asset, in this case, the beverage company’s shares, can be bought or sold on the market without causing a significant impact on its price. Selling shares in a private company is more challenging as they have no established market. However, going public allows existing shareholders, including founders, early investors, and employees, to sell their shares on the open market. This enables investors to enter or exit their positions easily, providing them with flexibility.

Liquidity can also impact the valuation of a company, which is crucial for processes like mergers and acquisitions, fundraising, financial reporting, and investment analysis. Publicly traded companies often have more transparent and regularly updated valuations based on their market price, unlike private companies, where valuation might be less clear due to less frequent transactions.

The Cons

Going public comes with its own set of limitations and hurdles:

1.    Time-Consuming

The IPO process is time-consuming – a company requires extensive preparation before going public. This includes legal work, financial audits, due diligence processes, marketing efforts, and regulatory filings. Depending on the complexity of the company and market conditions, the entire process can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months or even longer. Additionally, unfavorable market conditions can significantly delay or even derail the IPO process, adding further time constraints.

2.    Expensive

The IPO process can also be costly. Significant fees are incurred for hiring professionals like investment bankers, lawyers, auditors, and marketing consultants who guide the beverage company through the complex legal and financial aspects of going public. Additionally, various regulatory fees are associated with filing with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and meeting listing requirements of stock exchanges. Investment banks that manage the IPO process also charge underwriting fees, which are a percentage of the capital raised.

3.    Loss of Control

During an IPO, the company sells shares to the public, diluting the ownership stake of founders, existing investors, and early shareholders. This can lead to losing majority control over the company’s decision-making. Public shareholders have voting rights, allowing them to influence decisions on various matters, such as electing board members, approving major acquisitions, or proposing management changes.

Additionally, public companies face greater scrutiny from various stakeholders, including investors and analysts, who may pressure management to prioritize short-term financial performance over long-term strategic goals.


Going public comes with its set of advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, the decision to transition from a private company to a public one should be made on a case-by-case basis, considering the company’s specific goals, financial health, and risk tolerance. There is no universal answer, and a thorough assessment of the advantages and potential drawbacks is crucial before embarking on this significant business transformation.

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