The Costs of Issuing Private Versus Public Equity

Canadian listed firms issue private offerings more often than public offerings. Yet the issuing cost of private investments in public equity (PIPEs) has neither been analyzed nor compared with the cost of conventional seasoned equity offerings (SEOs). We examine a sample of 2,108 PIPEs and 1,990 SEOs completed between 1993 and 2003, and show that, as expected, PIPEs are discounted more than SEOs, although the commissions paid to investment bankers are lower. When we control for size and other characteristics of the issuers, the difference between the total costs is 4%. Although this figure is significant, if the PIPE process allows firms to obtain financing four or six months earlier than via SEOs, the price gap may be economically justifiable. This finding may explain the rapid growth of the Canadian PIPE market.
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