LEADING COMMERCE COMPANY

[Agency: The Abernathy MacGregor Group]

Challenge: Our agency was retained one year before the commerce company’s IPO to assist with investor relations and financial communications for the joint U.S./overseas listing.

Actions: Among other actions, we helped identify underwriters and sell-side analysts and made introductions; conducted a peer benchmarking analysis, including core metrics used; provided counsel on the company’s positioning, messaging and media relations; assisted with the recruiting and onboarding of an internal IR officer; consulted on messaging for offering a registration document and roadshow presentation; prepared a Q&A and conducted rehearsals for the management team in advance of investment bank presentations and roadshow; developed communications materials for customers, employees and external partners during the registration period and for Listing Day; assisted with media relations between registration filing and Listing Day; and consulted on Listing Day activities, including devising media strategy, handling stock exchange logistics and media training the CEO for both print and broadcast interviews.

Results: The stock was priced above the range and closed the first trading day up over 50 percent. Our agency devised a post-listing IR plan, and we continue to provide counsel and support on IR and PR matters.

TAROKO’S TURNAROUND

[Agency: Elite PR Group]

Challenge: The textile industry used to be a critical sector for Taiwan’s economic development. But with the rapid growth of the tech industry since the 1990s and a price war triggered by Chinese manufacturers, it went into decline. After textile company Taroko suffered several years of losses due to challenges for its core business, it decided to tap into commercial real estate. Since most investors still saw Taroko as a textile company, however, they doubted if such a transformation could succeed, which made it more difficult for Taroko to raise funds for its transformation program.

Actions: Through reputation endorsement, we leveraged the messages that Taroko had teamed up with leading brands in order to win major stories from top-tier business media, and we further used the media exposure as external forces to prove the company’s potential. We built a sense of trust with a timely media exposure tempo, observing the target audience’s investment behaviors to gain better insight into investor sentiment and profile. Then we well designed the tempo of media, perspectives and messages for Taroko’s transformation. In addition, we integrated a daily market watch and constant monitoring of media coverage to get real-time information about investors’ moves and attitudes, which often reflects market sentiment and can be used as the foundation for information management.

Results: Our agency changed investors’ perception of Taroko as a textile company and upgraded its image to a commercial real estate concept stock. We cut the fundraising cost by two-thirds and successfully helped the company raise enough funds for its transformation program. As investors had a higher opinion of Taroko’s value, its market capitalization increased from NT$1.2 billion in 2012 to NT$3.8 billion. Leading commercial real estate developers in Asia have asked for strategic partnerships because they are optimistic about Taroko’s prospects.

La Caixa Internal Restructuring

[Agency: Llorente & Cuenca]

Challenge: La Caixa is one of the 10 largest banks of the Eurozone and the first retail banking group in Spain, with a 15 percent market share. In 2010, the group needed a strategic communications plan for a deep internal restructuring, which resulted, among other aspects, in the reorganization of its structure from a savings bank to a new bank, CaixaBank. To there it transferred its financial activity, insurance business, international banking and relevant stakes in large Spanish multinationals. CaixaBank also launched on a stock exchange and issued convertible bonds for €15 billion.

Actions: In conjunction with 150 meetings with executives and roadshows with institutional investors and minority shareholders, Llorente & Cuenca developed context analysis, validating all potential scenarios that could arise in the process of the corporate change. Our agency also wrote intelligence reports on similar operations carried out by La Caixa’s Spanish peers, redefined the bank’s SWOT, made OTR and ONR contacts with key journalists, and supported the extraordinary general meeting and presentations of financial quarterly results. In addition, Llorente & Cuenca mapped relevant stakeholders, including financial bloggers, stock exchange information experts and opinion leaders.

Results: As a result of the strategic plan, La Caixa ensured that its values were upheld and promoted its key strengths among stakeholders. More than 90 media representatives attended the IPO, and coverage included nine pieces in leading international financial media, 79 news pieces in national media (13 on the front page), 32 news pieces on primetime TV and 49 online news pieces. During the week of the IPO, La Caixa claimed 40 percent of all online references to financial institutions in Spain, 85 percent of which were positive or neutral.

[photo: creativecommons.org/rahego]