Douglas Emmett backs its IPO with core messaging

When real estate trust Douglas Emmett decided to go to public, it wanted to ensure that it was well-prepared for the financial communications the process would entail, so it brought on Financial Relations Board (FRB) a few months earlier.

When real estate trust Douglas Emmett decided to go to public, it wanted to ensure that it was well-prepared for the financial communications the process would entail, so it brought on Financial Relations Board (FRB) a few months earlier.

Claire Koeneman, FRB co-president, says the move represents a trend in IR: Companies are bringing financial communications firms in early in the IPO process to help with messaging and best practices.

Strategy

Because Douglas Emmett would be in a quiet period during the IPO process, extensive media outreach was not an option. Instead, the team had to concentrate on preparing management for the IPO and crafting the appropriate messaging for prospective investors. "This is a company that's been in existence for a long time," Koeneman says. "The question was, 'Why go public now?' It's tough to be a public company."

Tactics

"We worked with the investment bankers and management team on everything from crafting the road show presentation to the key message points... that were going to sell with Wall Street," she says. FRB also handled a ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange where Douglas Emmett rang the opening bell. FRB also created a Web site for Douglas Emmett, which remained dark until the IPO.

Results

Douglas Emmett's IPO was priced at approximately $1.5 billion, the largest ever in the real estate investment trust space. It priced at $21 per share and ended up raising more than 75 million shares. "The buzz on the Street was fabulous," says Koeneman. Douglas Emmett CFO Bill Kamer says via e-mail that FRB's work "greatly contributed to the success" of the IPO.

Future

FRB continues to work with Douglas Emmett on IR-related activities.

PR team: Financial Relations Board (New York) and Douglas Emmett (Santa Monica, CA)

Campaign: Douglas Emmett's IPO

Duration: August to October 2006

Budget: In excess of $50,000

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