Abstract

The initial public offering (IPO) represents an important transition in the life of an organization. Being publicly traded increases the scrutiny of the organization and requires greater transparency in many facets and this increases the governance burden. While the transition from being private to publicly traded naturally increases the governance burden, we contend that the IPO process itself represents a distraction for directors in the first place. In the build up toward the IPO it is common for organizations to upgrade their accounting and financial reporting systems, hire professional managers, and add new directors. The IPO process for each firm is different and can be prolonged. Importantly, when the process is overly long or onerous, the attention of directors may be focused away from the normal oversight of the organization. In this situation monitoring of the TMT will naturally suffer and so investors may worry about potential agency costs going forward. We therefore examine whether distractions in the IPO process negatively affect valuation.

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