Private placements in public equity (PIPEs) are proliferating; in the United States, their growth is estimated at 30% per year. PIPEs are issued as part of prospectus exemptions. Because they can alleviate the financing difficulties of growing high tech companies, they should interest the authorities. In fact, the rise of this financing mode has raised several questions. PIPEs are generally issued at a price significantly below the market price before the issue, are followed by mediocre market and operating performances, but are preceded by a large increase in the stock price. In Canada, given that PIPEs are currently the preferred seasoned financing vehicle, it is worth exploring their impact on the liquidity and effectiveness of the stock market. This paper proposes a review of the legal and economic characteristics of this financing mode. Further, we highlight the research questions raised by the scant U.S. empirical evidence of this phenomenon.

Revised version in June 2005

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