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Initial Public Offerings: The mechanics and performance of IPOs by Arif Khurshed

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Chapter 1: An Introduction to IPOs

In this chapter I start with a discussion of the life cycle of companies and how some of them move towards an IPO. The next section discusses why companies may decide to conduct an IPO and the potential disadvantages of such a decision. A discussion of how companies prepare for an IPO follows.

1.1 The life cycle of companies

Businesses in the private sector are started either as unincorporated or incorporated concerns. Unincorporated businesses fall into two types depending on whether there is a single owner (sole trader) or several owners (partnership). With an unincorporated business there is no legal distinction between the business and its owner(s).

Incorporated businesses have a separate legal identity ...

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