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Working Paper, No. 2005-17, 2005
Why Do Firms Go Public? Evidence from the Banking Industry
The lack of data on private firms has made it difficult to empirically examine theories of why firms go public. However, both public and private banks must disclose financial information to regulators. We exploit this requirement to explore the goingpublic decision. Our results indicate that banks that convert to public ownership are more likely to become targets than control banks that remain private. Banks that go public are also more likely to become acquirers than control banks. IPO banks grow faster than control banks after going public, although there is some evidence that their performance deteriorates.

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