On the Decision to Go Public: Evidence from Privately-held Firms
New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)
Singapore Management University - Lee Kong Chian School of Business
February 12, 2004
We test recent theories of when companies go public which predict that 1) more companies will go public when outside valuations are high or have increased, 2) companies prefer going public when uncertainty about their future profitability is high, and 3) firms whose controlling shareholders enjoy large private benefits of control are less likely to go public. Our analysis tracks a set of 330 privately held German firms which between 1984 and 1995 announced their intention to go public to see whether, when, and how they subsequently sold equity to outside investors. Controlling for private benefits, we find that the likelihood of firms completing an initial public offering increases in the firm's investment opportunities and valuations. We also show that these effects are distinct from factors that increase firms' demand for outside capital more generally.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 47
Keywords: Going public decision; IPO timing; Private benefits; Family firms.
JEL Classification: G32
Date posted: April 23, 2001