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Gentlemanly Capitalism Revisited: A Case Study of the Underpricing of Initial Public Offerings on the London Stock Exchange 1946-86

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  • David Chambers

Abstract

Allegations of British capital market failure are numerous, range from claims of domestic investor bias before 1914 to charges of short-termism against institutional investors towards the end of the last century, and are frequently contentious. This paper revisits this literature by pointing up the post-1945 IPO market as a clear example of capital market failure. Despite the tender offer method delivering 10% lower underpricing than the dominant IPO method, it was adopted by fewer than 1 in 10 firms going public. This missed opportunity cost issuing firms £1.4 billion in money left on the table between 1960 and 1986 at 2004 prices and can be attributed to a lack of competition among issuing houses and brokers pre-Big Bang.

Suggested Citation

  • David Chambers, 2007. "Gentlemanly Capitalism Revisited: A Case Study of the Underpricing of Initial Public Offerings on the London Stock Exchange 1946-86," Economics Series Working Papers 253, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:253
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper253.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Carsten Burhop, 2011. "The Underpricing of Initial Public Offerings at the Berlin Stock Exchange, 1870–96," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(1), pages 11-32, February.
    2. Carsten Burhop & David Chambers & Brian Cheffins, 2011. "Is Regulation Essential to Stock Market Development? Going Public in London and Berlin, 1900-1913," Cologne Economic History papers 10, University of Cologne, Department of Economic and Business History, revised Mar 2011.
    3. Carsten Burhop & Thorsten Luebbers, 2011. "The design of licensing contracts: Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, and Electrical Engineering in Imperial Germany," Cologne Economic History papers 11, University of Cologne, Department of Economic and Business History, revised Jun 2011.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    IPO; British capital market failure; Tender offer;

    JEL classification:

    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage

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