- When a portion of an initial public offering (IPO) is placed with private investors right before the IPO is scheduled to hit the market. Typically, these private investors in a pre-IPO placement are large private equity or hedge funds that are willing to buy a large stake in the company. The size of the investment means the price paid for shares in a pre-IPO placement is usually less than the prospective IPO price.
It may seem like these private equity and hedge funds would be able to turn around and sell the shares at a higher price right away, but generally there is a lock-in period attached to the placement. This lock-in period prevents the funds from selling the shares in the short-term and tends to help attract investors who are looking to invest in the company for the long-term.
Investment dictionary. Academic. 2012.
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