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Finance Issues: Initial Public Offering

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Describe the financing issues that an organization faces when it goes public. Include an example of a company which has had an initial public offering in the past three years to address the following:
a. Registration, disclosure and compliance issues.
b. Cost of issuance.
c. The impact on ownership control and return.
d. Source and application of funds.

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Overview of an Initial Public Offering (IPO)

IPO is an Initial Public Offer to an investor, which means it is the first issue of equities by the company to the general public at large. Among the most popular reasons a company might choose to go public are to: raise capital to expand its business, finance acquisitions, pay debt and have greater and easier access to capital in the future. Thus, a financing issue is how much to raise the funds from the equity offer. What should be the optimal capital structure in order to minimize the cost of capital?

Public companies have thousands of shareholders and are subject to strict rules and regulations. They must have a board of directors and they must report financial information every quarter. In the United States, public companies report to the SEC.

Registration - Issues
A company can become "public" in one of two ways - by issuing securities in an offering registered under the Securities Act or by registering the company's outstanding securities under the Exchange Act requirements. Both types of registration trigger ongoing reporting obligations for your company.

If you decide on a registered public offering, the Securities Act requires your company to file a registration statement with the SEC before the company can offer its securities for sale. It has got two parts:

- Additional information: Reporting and Fiduciary Responsibilities
Public companies must continuously file reports with the SEC and the exchange they list on. They must comply with certain state securities laws, NASD and exchange guidelines.
If your company registers a class of securities under the Exchange Act, it must file the same annual, periodic, and current reports that are required as a result of Securities Act registration

Compliance Issues:
Record Keeping
Companies need to require audited financial statements for the last three years before they can go public. These need to be provided separately for each significant (>20%) unconsolidated subsidiary.

Case of Google
Google is one of the most successful new dot com companies presently. Their success is based on innovation, rapid growth, and an obsession to be the best search engine in the Wide World Web. Listed here under are excerpts from their main page website (http://www.google.com/corporate/index.html) which describes its ...

Solution Summary

This solution is 1400+ words and includes many references to help describe what an Initial Public Offering (IPO) is. Google is used as an example company that has taken part in an IPO.