There are as many glorified tales of triumphant IPOs as there are devastating ones. Many companies’ entry into the public markets lead to their ultimate undoing. An initial public offering can be a great strategy for a business to grow, but it’s not for everyone. Fewer than 1,000 businesses a year are successful at IPOs!
What is an IPO?
An IPO is the first offer of a company’s stock on the public market. “Going public” is the sought-after destination of many emerging companies. Traditionally, the IPO has been used as a financing vehicle. Today, it’s a little more complex than that. An IPO can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars — and there’s no guarantee it’ll even become a reality.
Why Do Companies Go Public?
Going public exposes all kinds of vulnerabilities. Not only does it subject a company to new rules and regulations by various governing bodies, it also opens it up to the risk of takeover. A public company’s shares can be snapped up by anyone — even its competitors. The IPO’s primary reason for existing is to provide liquidity to investors and employees. An IPO also furnishes a company with some collateral that can later be traded upon for future purchases or mergers.
The heart of the matter is knowing when. Undertaking an IPO too early can have catastrophic effects on the future health of a business; waiting too long might allow a competitor to steal the thunder. Before deciding whether or not to issue an IPO, companies need to spend some time evaluating the big picture.
To learn more, head over to Wall Street Survivor.