online dictionaries of abbreviations

C E F I L N O P R T V W
IO IP IR

IPO

Initial Public Offering
The first sale of a company's common shares to public investors, any other issuance by the company being called a Secondary Market Offering. The company will usually issue only primary shares, but may also sell secondary shares. Typically, a company will hire an investment banker to underwrite the offering and a corporate lawyer to assist in the drafting of the prospectus.

The sale of stock is overseen by financial regulators and where relevant by a stock exchange. It is usually a requirement that disclosure of the financial situation and prospects of a company be made to prospective investors.

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