Public offerings enable companies to raise money and finance their projects, notably issuing shares or bonds which may then be acquired by either local or foreign investors. In the other ohada member states, public offerings are regulated not only by the Ohada Uniform Act but also by two other regional intergration organization to wit; UEMOA and CEMAC.
The ohada law has provided for the legal concept of public offerings whilst the UEMOA and CEMAC organisations have put into place an institutional and legal framework to promote and organize public offerings.
The ohada law has through its Uniform Act provided for a presumption of public offerings in any of the following three situations;
- The listing of securities on the official list of a stock exchange in a member state, either the BRVM (Bourse Régionale de Valeurs Mobilières/Regional Stock Exchange), the BCVM (Bourse Camerounaise de Valeurs Mobilières/Cameroon Stock Exchange), or the BVMAC (Bourse des Valeurs Mobilières d’Afrique Centrale/Central African Stock Exchange) ;
- The public offering of securities through credit institutions or brokers, or through canvassing and advertising; or
- The placing of securities with over 100 persons.
In other words, it is possible for a company to be subject to the rules governing public offerings even if it is not listed on a stock exchange. In particular, issuers of securities must pay particular attention to the fact that a company will be deemed to make public offerings if it has a total of atleast 100 shareholders and bondholders.