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Why Do Companies Go Public? An Empirical Analysis

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  • Marco Pagano
  • Fabio Panetta
  • Luigi Zingales

Abstract

This paper empirically analyzes the determinants of an initial public offering (IPO) and the consequences of this decision on a company's investment and financial policy. We compare both the ex ante and the ex post characteristics of IPOs with those of a large sample of privately held companies of similar size. We find that (i) the likelihood of an IPO is positively related to the market-to-book ratio prevailing in the relevant industrial sector and to a company's size, (ii) IPOs are followed by an abnormal reduction in profitability, (iii) the new equity capital raised upon listing is not used to finance subsequent investment and growth, but to reduce leverage, (iv) going public reduces the cost of bank credit; (v) it is often associated by equity sales by controlling shareholders, and is followed by a higher turnover of control than for other companies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5367.

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Date of creation: Nov 1995
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Publication status: published as Journal of Finance, Vol. 53, no. 1 (February 1998): 27-64.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5367

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  1. Campbell, Tim S., 1979. "Optimal Investment Financing Decisions and the Value of Confidentiality," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(05), pages 913-924, December.
  2. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1995. " What Do We Know about Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1421-60, December.
  3. Franks, Julian & Mayer, Colin, 2001. "Ownership and Control of German Corporations," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(4), pages 943-77.
  4. Loughran, Tim & Ritter, Jay R. & Rydqvist, Kristian, 1995. "Initial public offerings: International insights," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 139-140, May.
  5. Alexander, Ian & Mayer, Colin, 1991. "Stock Markets and Corporate Performance: A Comparison of Quoted and Unquoted Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 571, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Steven N. Kaplan, 1993. "The Staying Power Of Leveraged Buyouts," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 6(1), pages 15-24.
  7. Leland, Hayne E & Pyle, David H, 1977. "Informational Asymmetries, Financial Structure, and Financial Intermediation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 371-87, May.
  8. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1986. "Large Shareholders and Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 461-88, June.
  9. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1993. "Market Liquidity and Performance Monitoring," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 678-709, August.
  10. Rock, Kevin, 1986. "Why new issues are underpriced," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-2), pages 187-212.
  11. Bhattacharya Sudipto & Chiesa Gabriella, 1995. "Proprietary Information, Financial Intermediation, and Research Incentives," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 328-357, October.
  12. Colin Mayer & Julian Franks, 2000. "Ownership and Control of German Corporations," Economics Series Working Papers 2001-FE-11, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  13. De Long, J. Bradford & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H. & Waldmann, Robert J., 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Scholarly Articles 3725552, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  15. Roni Michaely & Wayne H. Shaw, 1995. "The Choice of Going Public: Spin-offs vs. Carve-outs," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 24(3), Fall.
  16. Lerner, Joshua, 1994. "Venture capitalists and the decision to go public," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 293-316, June.
  17. Loughran, Tim & Ritter, Jay R, 1995. " The New Issues Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 23-51, March.
  18. Zingales, Luigi, 1995. "What Determines the Value of Corporate Votes?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1047-73, November.
  19. Yosha Oved, 1995. "Information Disclosure Costs and the Choice of Financing Source," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 3-20, January.
  20. Pagano, Marco, 1993. "The flotation of companies on the stock market : A coordination failure model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1101-1125, June.
  21. Degeorge, Francois & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1993. " The Reverse LBO Decision and Firm Performance: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1323-48, September.
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