Definition of IPO year

IPO year of Facebook, Inc.

2012
Initial public offering is a type of public offering in which shares of a company usually are sold to institutional investors that in turn, sell to the general public, on a securities exchange, for the first time.

Through IPO a privately held company transforms into a public company. Initial public offerings are mostly used by companies to raise the expansion of capital, possibly to monetize the investments of early private investors, and to become publicly traded enterprises. A company selling shares is never required to repay the capital to its public investors. After the IPO, when shares trade freely in the open market, money passes between public investors.

Although IPO offers many advantages, there are also significant disadvantages, chief among these are the costs associated with the process and the requirement to disclose certain information that could prove helpful to competitors.

The IPO process is colloquially known as going public. Details of the proposed offering are disclosed to potential purchasers in the form of a lengthy document known as a prospectus. Most companies undertake an IPO with the assistance of an investment banking firm acting in the capacity of an underwriter. Underwriters provide several services, including help with correctly assessing the value of shares.

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