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There wasn't any specific information on when exactly the transactions take place. So are the companies able to engage in the actual sale of the new securities prior to giving the public the base prospectus?

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Before raising funds [Initial Public Offering or secondary Public Offering], every company has to file a Base prospectus that gives various details of the company, how much funds are going to be raised, how they are utilized amongst other things. These are scrutinized by the regulators / exchanges to validate that the information is true reflection. This is base prospectus. Generally there is also pricing.

The shelf registration has base prospectus approved. Once this is approved, the company can decide pricing pretty quickly depending on market conditions.

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