Issue of Shares

March 31, 2008


Why do companies need to issue shares to the public?
Most companies are usually started privately by their promoter(s). However, the promoters’ capital and the borrowings from banks and financial institutions may not be sufficient for setting up or running the business over a long term. So companies invite the public to contribute towards the equity and issue shares to individual investors. The way to invite share capital from the public is through a ‘Public Issue’. Simply stated, a public issue is an offer to the public to subscribe to the share capital of a company. Once this is done, the company allots shares to the applicants as per the prescribed rules and regulations laid down by SEBI.


What are the different kinds of issues?
Primarily, issues can be classified as a Public, Rights or Preferential issues (also known as private placements). While public and rights issues involve a detailed procedure, private placements or preferential issues are relatively simpler. The classification of issues is illustrated below:
Initial Public Offering (IPO) is when an unlisted company makes either a fresh issue of securities or an offer for sale of its existing securities or both for the first time to the public. This paves way for listing and trading of the issuer’s securities.
A follow on public offering (Further Issue) is when an already listed company makes either a fresh issue of securities to the public or an offer for sale to the public, through an offer document.
Rights Issue is when a listed company which proposes to issue fresh securities to its existing shareholders as on a record date. The rights are normally offered in a particular ratio to the number of securities held prior to the issue. This route is best suited for companies who would like to raise capital without diluting stake of its existing shareholders.
A Preferential issue is an issue of shares or of convertible securities by listed companies to a select group of persons under Section 81 of the Companies Act, 1956 which is neither a rights issue nor a public issue. This is a faster way for a company to raise equity capital. The issuer company has to comply with the Companies Act and the requirements contained in the Chapter pertaining to preferential allotment in SEBI guidelines which inter-alia include pricing, disclosures in notice etc.
What is meant by Issue price?
The price at which a company’s shares are offered initially in the primary market is called as the Issue price. When they begin to be traded, the market price may be above or below the issue price.
What is meant by Market Capitalisation? The market value of a quoted company, which is calculated by multiplying its current share price (market price) by the number of shares in issue is called as market capitalization. E.g. Company A has 120 million shares in issue. The current market price is Rs. 100. The market capitalisation of company A is Rs. 12000 million.
Classification of Issues Issues
Rights Preferential Initial Public Offering Public Further Public Offering
Fresh Issue Offer for Sale Fresh Issue Offer for Sale
What is the difference between public issue and private placement?
When an issue is not made to only a select set of people but is open to the general public and any other investor at large, it is a public issue. But if the issue is made to a select set of people, it is called private placement. As per Companies Act, 1956, an issue becomes public if it results in allotment to 50 persons or more. This means an issue can be privately placed where an allotment is made to less than 50 persons.

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