An Analysis of the Liquidity Benefits Provided by Secondary Markets
Posted: 19 Mar 2009
Date Written: November 18, 2008
Listing shares in liquid secondary markets either to facilitate acquisitions or to diversify owner's personal wealth are among the most important reasons for firms to go public [Brau, J.C., Fawcett, S.E., 2006. Initial public offerings: An analysis of theory and practice. Journal of Finance 61, 399-436]. We contend that the expected benefits derived from the liquidity provided by secondary markets are relevant for understanding important decisions made in preparation for an IPO. We hypothesize that the potential losses caused by an IPO failure induce firms that benefit more from going public to hire more reputable underwriters and to adopt more conservative pricing policies. We use several proxies for the benefits firms derive from post-IPO liquidity. The results indicate that firms that benefited more from liquidity were taken public by more prestigious underwriters and exhibited substantially larger levels of price revisions and underpricing. Post-IPO liquidity is also important for understanding the decision to retain the lead underwriter in subsequent SEOs.
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