This paper investigates UK privatisation issues as initial public offerings (IPOs) of equities on the International Stock Exchange (London). Excess returns on such issues are compared with private sector initial public offerings. The results, which are unaffected by firm size and underwriting commission, indicate that, on an ex post basis, the issues provide excess returns above those of private sector firms on average by about 31% over a 32-week period. None of the existing theories of underpricing of IPOs is consistent with our results which imply wealth transfer to those who acquired the shares in privatised issues. After-market pricing was, however, found to be consistent with secondary market efficiency.
- privatised companies
- London stock exchange
- initial offerings
- initial public offerings (IPOs)