Financial Terms Glossary

IPO - Initial Public Offering

Formal

'Initial Public Offering' - the process of taking an entity to the market in order to raise funding - usually for expansion. A Prospectus is issued detailing the purpose of this fund raising exercise and this contains the business forecasts and projections likely as a result of the IPO.

Informal

'Initial Public Offering' - is the process of taking a company to 'market' - or listing it on one of the world's stock exchanges. Supposed to be done to raise money for business expansion, but does include the sale of family businesses to realise value in an enterprise, or fund a divorce settlement.

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