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Why Do Companies Go Public? An Empirical Analysis

  • MARCO PAGANO
  • FABIO PANETTA
  • LUIGI ZINGALES

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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Paper provided by Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago in its series CRSP working papers with number 330.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:chispw:330
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  1. J. Bradford De Long & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, . "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _124, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
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  12. Loughran, Tim & Ritter, Jay R. & Rydqvist, Kristian, 1994. "Initial public offerings: International insights," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 2(2-3), pages 165-199, May.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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  16. 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.
  17. Lerner, Joshua, 1994. "Venture capitalists and the decision to go public," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 293-316, June.
  18. Rock, Kevin, 1986. "Why new issues are underpriced," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-2), pages 187-212.
  19. Zingales, Luigi, 1995. "What Determines the Value of Corporate Votes?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1047-73, November.
  20. Loughran, Tim & Ritter, Jay R, 1995. " The New Issues Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 23-51, March.
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