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About Initial Public Offerings (IPO)


The Capital market represents the “Primary Market” and the “Secondary Market. The capital market has two interdependent and inseparable segments, the new issuers (the primary market) and stock (secondary) market. The primary market is used by issuers for raising fresh capital from the investors by making initial public offers or rights issues or offers for sale of equity or debt. An active secondary market promotes the growth of the primary market and capital formation, since the investors in the primary market are assured of a continuous market where they have an option to liquidate their investments.

A corporate may raise capital in the primary market by way of an initial public offer, rights issue or private placement. An Initial Public Offer (IPO) is the selling of securities to the public in the primary market. It is the largest source of funds with long or indefinite maturity for the company.

An IPO is an important step in the growth of a business. It provides a company access to funds through the public capital market. An IPO also greatly increases the credibility and publicity that a business receives. In many cases, an IPO is the only way to finance quick growth and expansion. In terms of the economy, when a large number of IPOs are issued, it is a sign of a healthy stock market and economy.

When the company makes its first IPO to the public, the relationship is directly between the company and investors, and the money flows to the Company as its “Share Capital”. Shareholders thus become owners of the Company through their participation in the Company’s IPO and have ownership rights over the company. This is the largest source of funds for a company, which enables the company to create “Fixed Assets” which will be employed in the course of the business. The shareholders of the Company are free to exit their investment through the secondary market.

What is Book Building?

SEBI guidelines defines Book Building as "a process undertaken by which a demand for the securities proposed to be issued by a body corporate is elicited and built-up and the price for such securities is assessed for the determination of the quantum of such securities to be issued by means of a notice, circular, advertisement, document or information memoranda or offer document".

Book Building is basically a process used in Initial Public Offer (IPO) for efficient price discovery. It is a mechanism where, during the period for which the IPO is open, bids are collected from investors at various prices, which are above or equal to the floor price. The offer price is determined after the bid closing date.

As per SEBI guidelines, an issuer company can issue securities to the public though prospectus in the following manner:

  1. 100% of the net offer to the public through book building process
  2. 75% of the net offer to the public through book building process and 25% at the price determined through book building. The Fixed Price portion is conducted like a normal public issue after the Book Built portion, during which the issue price is determined.

The concept of Book Building is relatively new in India. However it is a common practice in most developed countries.

Difference between Book Building Issue and Fixed Price Issue

In Book Building securities are offered at prices above or equal to the floor prices, whereas securities are offered at a fixed price in case of a public issue. In case of Book Building, the demand can be known everyday as the book is built. But in case of the public issue the demand is known at the close of the issue.

Updated on: 28/09/2021
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