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Companies require capital regularly to fund various business activities such as expansion, paying off debt etc. Business owners often seek external capital as they cannot keep funding the business through personal savings. When a company increases in value, the need for capital increases, requiring them to raise funds through the general public.
Although business owners can raise initial funds through an Initial Public Offering (IPO), what happens when the company needs additional funds? This is where a Follow-On Public Offer (FPO) helps business owners to ensure they have adequate funds to keep their business activities running smoothly.
An FPO is a stock market process that allows a publicly traded company to issue additional shares and raise more funds from investors.
What Is a Follow-On Public Offer (FPO)?
A Follow-On Public Offer (FPO) is a type of public offering in which a company already listed on the stock exchange issues new shares of its stock to the public. The companies that have already raised funds through IPOs by issuing their shares for the first time can issue additional shares through FPOs.
An FPO can be a good option for companies that have already established a track record of success and have a strong following of investors willing to buy additional shares. However, FPOs can also dilute the ownership and earnings per share of existing shareholders, which investors consider before participating in an FPO.
Generally, companies issue FPOs to raise additional funds for various reasons, such as financing expansion plans, paying off debt, or funding acquisitions. The FPO process is similar to an IPO, requiring issuers to draft an offering document and allot shares to investors before listing them on the stock exchanges.
How a Follow-on Public Offer (FPO) Works
Here is how an FPO works to issue additional shares to investors.
● Intermediaries Appointment: The company that wants to issue an FPO appoints intermediates such as investment banks and underwriters for assistance.
● Offer Document: The company prepares and files with SEBI an offer document for the FPO, which contains detailed information, such as FPO size, lot size etc.
● Pricing: Once SEBI approves the offer document, the company sets a price per share for the FPO. It is the price at which investors will apply for the shares included in the lot.
● Opening and Closing: The company opens the FPO for a certain period, during which investors can place their bids. Once the bidding period is over, the FPO is closed.
● Allotment and Listing: Once the FPO application closes, the company allows the shares to investors who applied, along with the final offer price. Afterwards, the shares are listed on the stock exchanges.
Types of Follow-On Public Offers (FPOs)
In the financial spectrum, FPOs are of two types. One of the types results in diluting the ownership, while the other results in no valuation change.
● Dilutive FPO: Dilutive FPO is a type of FPO where the companies issue additional shares, increasing the share float in the market. Since the outstanding shares increase, the ownership percentage for current shareholders decreases, decreasing the earnings per share.
● Non-Dilutive FPO: In a non-dilutive FPO, the issuing company does not issue new shares of stock. Instead, the company's existing shareholders, such as institutional investors or insiders, sell their shares to the public. The sale does not alter the current shareholders' valuation or ownership percentage.
Example Of An Follow-On Public Offer (FPO)
Numerous companies in India have come up with an FPO where they issued new shares to raise additional capital. Patanjali-owned Ruchi Soya is one such example. Ruchi Soya wanted to raise additional capital and launched its FPO on March 24th 2022, which was open for subscription to investors till 28th March 2022.
The shares had a face value of Rs 2 with a price band of Rs 615 to Rs 650 per share. The lot size for the FPO issue was 21 shares, with the issue size amounting to Rs 4,300 crores. The shares were listed on the stock exchanges on 8th April 2022.
FPO Vs IPO
The Indian stock market contains numerous processes through which companies can raise funds from the public to fund their business activities. Two of the most common and effective ways are IPOs and FPOs. IPO or Initial Public Offering is a financial process that allows private companies to raise capital by issuing shares to the general public for the first time.
The company owners and promoters that come up with the IPO dilute their held ownership by offering shares to the public. Afterwards, the company lists on the stock exchanges as a publicly listed company.
On the other hand, an FPO or Follow on Public Offer is a financial process that allows companies already listed on the stock exchanges to offer additional shares to the general public to diversify their equity base.
Companies develop an FPO to either raise additional capital for the company or reduce its debt. In the case of an FPO, the Earnings Per Share of the company reduces as more shares float in the stock market.
What Are the Benefits of Follow-On Public Offers (FPOs)?
An FPO is one of the best ways for companies to ensure their operations run smoothly. Here are some of the benefits of an FPO for companies.
● Capital raising: One of the primary reasons companies launch an FPO is to raise additional capital for the company. The companies can use these funds to pay off debt or invest in expansion.
● Increased liquidity: FPO increases the liquidity of the company's shares by increasing the number of shares available in the market. This makes it easier for investors to buy and sell shares in the company.
● Diversification: An FPO allows companies to diversify its investors base as new investors buy their shares. It also results in diversifying the equity base of the company.
● Improved market reputation: A successful FPO can improve a company's market reputation, as it demonstrates investors' confidence in the company's growth potential and financial stability.
What Are the Advantages of At-The-Market (ATM) Offerings?
At-The-Market offerings are a new-age financial process that allows companies to sell their shares gradually over time to the general public directly. Here are some of the advantages of At-The-Market (ATM) offerings:
● Flexibility: ATM offerings allow companies to issue their shares in real-time after accessing the market conditions and investor demand. ATM offerings mitigate the chances of a low subscription as the company issues shares after accessing the market.
● Market price: One of the best advantages of ATM offerings is the price at which the companies offer their shares. In ATM offerings, the companies can offer shares at the current market price, resulting in better investment returns.
● Cost-effective: The shares issuing process through ATM offerings is cost-effective and cheaper than the IPO process. The process does not involve seeking assistance from investment bankers, resulting in lower expenses.
What Are the Disadvantages of At-The-Market (ATM) Offerings?
Like every other financial process, ATM offerings also have certain disadvantages, including
● Ownership dilution: One of the main disadvantages of ATM offerings is its resulting decrease in the current ownership of the shareholders. As the company issues additional shares, it dilutes the ownership percentage of the current shareholders.
● Limited control: When issuing company shares through ATM offerings, the company has limited control over the pricing of the shares as they are issued at the current market price. If the current price is overvalued, it may lead to a lower subscription.
● Volatility: ATM offerings may lead to higher volatility in the market as the investors may react negatively to the news that a company is issuing additional shares. Volatility can disrupt the demand and supply factors, negatively affecting the share price.
● Decreased goodwill: Investors may take the news of a company issuing additional shares through ATM offerings negatively, deeming the company to have negative cash flow.
An FPO is ideal for a company to raise additional capital from the general public if it needs more funds after raising capital through an IPO. Since the company has already listed its shares through IO, it can only raise additional capital through an FPO, where current or new investors can invest and increase their ownership.
FPOs can be beneficial for both the issuing company and investors, as it provides an opportunity for the company to raise funds for growth and for investors to profit from the company's success potentially. However, as FPOs may come with certain risks, investors must conduct their research and analysis before deciding whether to participate in an FPO.
More About IPO
Frequently Asked Questions
IPO stands for Initial Public Offering, a process where private companies issue shares for the first time to investors to become publicly traded. Business owners use an IPO to raise funds for various company activities.
Non-Dilutive FPO is a type of FPO that does not decrease the valuation and the ownership percentage of the current shareholders. The process witnesses the current shareholders selling their stakes for personal gains, resulting in no change in the share float.
IPOs and FPOs are used by companies or corporations that want to raise funds from the public. In an IPO, a company issues shares to the public for the first time, raising capital by selling these shares, whilst companies that are already publicly traded and want to raise additional capital by issuing new shares to the public issue an FPO.