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Public Offering

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A public offering is an invitation to participate in a debt or equity offering that extends to the public. In the US, a public offering must comply with an extensive set of securities law and associated SEC rules. Moreover, additional laws governing a public offering exist at the state level. In contrast to a public offering, a more limited offering or an investment opportunity is known as a private placement. Like the public offering, a private placement is ordinarily regulated by securities law, but some exceptions are made for the accredited investor. In the equity markets, when a company goes public, the first public offering of stock is known as an initial public offering, or IPO. Following the initial public offering, a company's stock is publicly traded, generally on a stock exchange. The IPO is certainly the most glamorous and closely followed type of public offering.



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