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IPO Basics
 
What is an IPO?

An Initial Public Offer or IPO is the first sale of a company’s shares to investors on a public stock exchange. While IPOs are effective at raising capital, being listed on a stock exchange imposes regulatory compliance and reporting requirements.

When a shareholder sells shares it is called a “secondary offering” and the shareholder, not the company who originally issued the shares, retains the proceeds of the offering. To avoid confusion, it is imporatnt to remember that only a company which issues shares can make a “primary offering”. Secondary offerings occur on the “secondary market”, where shareholders (not the issuing company) buy and sell shares to each other.

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