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Why Do Companies Go Public? An Empirical Analysis

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  • Pagano, Marco
  • Panetta, Fabio
  • Zingales, Luigi

Abstract

This paper empirically analyses 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; and (v) it is often associated with equity sales by controlling shareholders, and is followed by a higher turnover of control than for other companies.

Suggested Citation

  • Pagano, Marco & Panetta, Fabio & Zingales, Luigi, 1996. "Why Do Companies Go Public? An Empirical Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 1332, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1332
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Going Public; Initial Public Offering; Stock Market;

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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