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Decision to go private examined in Second Life session

SecondlifeWe often hear about companies and their dreams of going public, of snagging that big IPO and setting Wall Street on fire.

Less often publicized but equally important are the bids of some public companies to go private. What drives that decision? What are the most important factors to consider?

That was the centerpiece of the MACPA's latest "mixed-reality" CPE session in Second Life, a panel discussion titled "Going Private: Insight from a Management and Investor Perspective." Held live as part of a meeting of the San Francisco chapter of the Financial Executives Networking Group and attended by virtual attendees on CPA Island in Second Life, the event focused on the process, risks and rewards of going private.

And make no mistake: There are lots of reasons these days to consider going private. Costs of complying with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other regulations, so-called "soft costs" like the significant time spent on earnings calls and speaking to shareholders, and governance headaches often cause executives with public companies enough pain to make them rethink their position.

"The world has changed dramatically," said Ben Bisconti, managing director of Accel KKR Partners, a private equity firm. "The benefits of being public are more often in question, especially for smaller businesses."

Find out more about the session and download materials here.

More virtual CPE on deck
Equally imortant, though, was the format of the session. This was the third "mixed-reality" session the MACPA has held in Second Life, and with each session we come closer to proving that this is a convenient and accepted way of receiving continuing education.

And that leads us to our next Second Life session, "Increasing Transparency: Enhanced Business Reporting." Scheduled for noon on Oct. 23, the session will take a closer look at the benefits Enhanced Business Reporting offers to companies and investors alike. The featured speaker will be Bob Laux, director of financial accounting and reporting for Microsoft. You can get details and register here.


Bill Sheridan