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Seasoned Equity Offerings by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises


  • Cécile Carpentier
  • Jean-François L'Her
  • Jean-Marc Suret


Most of the analyses of small firms' decision to seek outside equity financing and the conditions thereof have concerned private firms. Knowledge of the risk and return of entrepreneurial ventures for outside investors is consequently limited. This paper attempts to fill this gap by examining the Canadian context, where small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are allowed to list on a stock market. We analyze seasoned equity offerings launched by SMEs over the last decade. These public issuers can be considered low quality firms with poor operating performance. Managers issue equity before a large decrease in operating and stock market performance. Individual investors do not price the stocks correctly around the issue and incur significant negative returns in the years following the issue. This is particularly true for constrained issuers. We confirm that entrepreneurial outside equity attracts lemons, and that individual investors cannot invest wisely in emerging ventures. Probably as a consequence of individual investors' lack of skill and rationality, the cost of outside equity financing of Canadian public SMEs is abnormally low. La plupart des analyses de la décision et des conditions de financement des petites entreprises portent sur des entités privées. Le risque et le rendement que ces entreprises représentent pour les investisseurs sont donc très mal connus. Ce papier tente de combler cette lacune en utilisant le contexte canadien, où les petites et moyennes entreprises (PMEs) sont autorisées à s'introduire en bourse. Nous analysons les financements par fonds propres levés par ces PMEs au cours de la dernière décennie. Ces émetteurs peuvent être considérés comme des entreprises de faible qualité présentant une piètre performance opérationnelle. Les dirigeants émettent des actions juste avant une forte diminution de la performance comptable et boursière. Les investisseurs individuels n'évaluent pas correctement les actions au moment de l'émission et subissent des rendements négatifs significatifs au cours des années postérieures. Ceci est particulièrement vrai pour les émetteurs contraints financièrement. Nous confirmons que le marché du financement externe des PMEs attire des « citrons », et que les investisseurs individuels ne peuvent pas investir de façon avisée dans les entreprises en développement. Conséquence probable d'un manque d'expérience et de rationalité des investisseurs individuels, le coût des fonds propres externes est anormalement bas pour les PMEs inscrites en bourse au Canada.

Suggested Citation

  • Cécile Carpentier & Jean-François L'Her & Jean-Marc Suret, 2010. "Seasoned Equity Offerings by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises," CIRANO Working Papers 2010s-07, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2010s-07

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    1. repec:dau:papers:123456789/336 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Cécile Carpentier & Jean-François L’Her & Jean-Marc Suret, 2013. "Private investment in small public entities," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 149-168, June.

    More about this item


    financing decision; equity offerings; small business; long-run performance; cost of equity; financial constrain; décision de financement; financement par fonds propres; petites entreprises; coût des fonds propres; performance; contrainte financière;

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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