Monday, July 5, 2021

What is Initial Public Offering: IPO Process Explained

An initial public offering or stock launch refers to the process of offering shares of a private company to the public to raise capital from public investors in a new stock issuance. When a company wants to go from private to public ownership, it makes an IPO. 

Initial Public Offering
 Initial Public Offering

What is Initial Public Offering (IPO) and How Does an IPO Work?

What is Initial Public Offering?

An initial public offering (IPO) is a process by which a private company goes public and offers shares to investors for the first time.

When a private company, such as a startup, seeks to raise capital to fund its next phase of growth, it often goes public through an initial public offering or IPO.

The IPO process allows a company to raise money to fund operations, drive growth, and pay off debt. It also gives companies the opportunity to return the money to their investors, who have the option to sell their private shares in the IPO.

A private company with considerable growth potential will consider going public, mainly for the reasons mentioned above. In many ways, it is the logical and expected next step for successful startups.

Initial public offerings can be seen as an exit strategy for company founders and early investors, who can get all the profits from private investment.


How Does an IPO Work?

An initial public offering (IPO) is essentially a fundraising method used by large companies, in which the company sells its shares to the public for the first time.

In order to conduct an initial public offering, a private company must register its IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Businesses often use Form S-1 to register with the SEC. Inside that S-1, you'll find the company's IPO prospectus, the details of the IPO process. It is a crucial document that investors should read when considering an investment in a company that has just been publicly traded.

The S-1 sets out the terms of a company's IPO, focusing particularly on the number of shares it will issue to the public.

As a company prepares to go public, it hires underwriters for marketing, assessing needs, setting IPO prices and dates, etc. Underwriters receive the shares of the IPO before distributing them to the public. Companies select top underwriters, who help guide the IPO process and allocate shares.


How is the IPO Price Determined?

The IPO price is determined by the underwriters participating in the offering. In a small IPO, the issue price can be determined by the bookkeeper. 

The bookkeeper is the main underwriting investment bank and is responsible for leading and directing the company's stock issuance. However, in a large IPO, the issue price is determined by a consortium of underwriters including several investment banks.

The factors that influence the value of an IPO may include the following:

  • The quality of the stock currently sold in the IPO.
  • The current market price of stocks of similar companies in the same industry.
  • Potential customers' demand for company stocks.
  • The company's future growth potential.
  • The financial validity of the company's business model.
  • The organization or management of a private company.
  • General market trends (Sometimes, any positive news, such as the company's recent achievements, success stories, or the products they offer, can also affect pricing.).

Read the full article for more details: IPO: Pros and Cons of Going Public

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