Private Placement Financing – Definition

Cite this article as:"Private Placement Financing – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated April 26, 2019, last accessed October 20, 2020,


Private Placement Financing Definition

A private placement refers to a capital raising event which includes selling securities to a really small number of select visitors. Large banks, insurance companies, pension funds, and mutual funds are the various investors that are involved in a private placement. A private placement differs from a public issue where securities can be sold on the open market to any kind of investor.

A Little More on What is Private Placement

Private placement has less regulatory standards and requirements which it must abide by. Despite the fact that it is a capital raising occasion that involves selling securities, it’s a way of capital raising which doesn’t have to be registered to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A small pool of individuals and entities make up its investors. A prospectus is not required by the investment and in most cases, detailed financial information isn’t revealed.

How Securities Are Regulated

Through the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities and Exchange Commission regulates the way securities are sold to the public. After the 1929 stock market crash, this law was established in order to ensure investors receiving enough disclosure when they buy securities. In a case where a company plans on issuing bonds or stocks to the public, it must first, register with the SEC and then sell the security with the use of a prospectus. A registration exemption is for private placement offerings is provided by Regulation D of the 1933 Act. Regulation D permits an issuer to sell securities to a specific group of accredited investors who match up to certain standards. Instead of using a prospectus, private placements are sold with the use of a private placement memorandum (PPM) and can’t be widely marketed to the public

Accredited Investors

A pertinent part of raising capital in private capital is involving accredited investors. Despite the fact that private placements don’t need the issuer to register its securities with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it requires that the issuer sells only the private securities to investors who are seen as accredited investors based on the Regulation D of the 1933

Securities Act set by the SEC.

Accredited investors are either individuals or entities who qualify under the terms of the SEC.

Most times, entities include venture capital firms.

Private placements can be utilized for a whole lot of purposes. A company may use a private placement in order to raise capital for its business. In financial technology product offerings that emerged newly, private placements are common. Below are two instances:

  1.    Lightspeed POS raised $166 million in a private placement Series D financing round. The money would be utilized for business development.
  2.    Online investing in real estate is offered by Fundrise by means of private placement offerings. Fundrise’s wealth management services comprise offerings only for accredited investors and capital is gotten from the private placement.

The private placement regulations permit an issuer to avoid the expense and time of registering with the SEC. It is faster to underwrite the security and this process allows the issuer to get benefits from the sale in less time. In a situation where an issuer sells a bond, it can avoid the expense and time of getting a credit rating from a bond agency. The issuer can sell more complicated security to accredited investors that understand the possible risk and reward. Also, the firm can continue to be privately owned which would prevent the need for filing annual disclosures with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A private placement bond issue buyer anticipates a higher interest rate than he earns on a security that is traded publicly. As a result of the increased risk of not getting a credit rating, a private placement buyer may not purchase a bond except if specific collateral secures the bond. A higher business ownership percentage or a fixed dividend payment per stock share may be demanded by a private placement stock investor.

At the initial stage, many restrictions were placed on private placement transactions by the SEC. For instance, such offerings could only be made for a certain number of investors, and the company was asked to create strict requirements for all investors to meet. Also, the SEC requested only sophisticated investors to be eligible for the private placement of securities. Sophisticated investors include those who can evaluate the benefits and understand the risks that come with the investment. Lastly, stock sold through private offerings couldn’t be advertised to the general public and its resale could only be executed under certain circumstances.

References Private Placement Financing

Academic Research on Private Placement Financing

The economics of the private placement market, Carey, M., Prowse, S., Rea, J., & Udell, G. (1994). Fed. Res. Bull., 80, 5.This paper seeks to explicate the private market and its economics. The private placement market is a necessary source of long-term income for U.S. companies. Despite this, it has got little attention in the academic literature or the financial press, partly because of the instrument’s nature. This paper analyzes the market’s economic foundation for privately placed debt, it analyzes the role of the market in corporate finance and also determines the existing relationship between it and other corporate debt markets.

Financing family business: Alternatives to selling out or going public, Dreux IV, D. R. (1990). Family Business Review, 3(3), 225-243. The focus of this article is on financing family businesses, with attention to alternatives to either selling out or going public. Family businesses, be it private or public, constitute a major aspect of the American economic system. The conceptual framework used simplifies the conflicting aims of the business and its shareholders pertaining to the fundamental issues of liquidity, control, and capital.

Financial contracting and the choice between private placement and publicly offered bonds, Kwan, S. H., & Carleton, W. T. (2010). Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, 42(5), 907-929. This paper investigates financial contracting and choosing between publicly offered bonds and private placement. Private placement bonds have distinct financial contracting in managing borrower-lender agency conflicts as a result of direct monitoring and also the ease of future renegotiation. The data show that private placements have a higher tendency of having covenants and have a higher tendency to be issued by smaller and riskier borrowers. It is also discovered that when issuing bonds, firms self-select the type of bond to minimize financing costs, as well as, the transaction costs.

Signaling through private equity placements and its impact on the valuation of biotechnology firms, Janney, J. J., & Folta, T. B. (2003). Journal of Business venturing, 18(3), 361-380. This research work examines how young technology firms that are publicly held contend with information asymmetry, and also the danger it poses in acquiring the capital needed for future growth. A theory developed suggests that the timing of previous signals determine returns. Also, it is argued that the features of the private placement signal, specifically if private equity is bound with research partnerships, have an impact on the signal strength.

Accounting information in private markets: Evidence from private lending agreements, Leftwich, R. (1983). Accounting Review, 23-42. In this paper, evidence of accounting measurement rules which are bargained in private corporate lending agreements is documented. There is a difference between the negotiated set of rules and regulated set of accounting rules. Also, their differences are systematic and also consistent with the borrowers’ and lenders’ economic incentives. Private parties in the market for accounting details are able to get for themselves some of the details needed for monitoring lending agreements. Implications exist for the voluntary choice of accounting rules, the need for a different set of accounting roles, and the superior role of alternative accounting rules.

Some Commercial Overtones of Private Placement, Israels, C. L. (1959). Va. L. Rev., 45, 851. This paper examines certain commercial overtones of a private placement.

Financing under extreme risk: Contract terms and returns to private investments in public equity, Chaplinsky, S., & Haushalter, D. (2010). The Review of Financial Studies, 23(7), 2789-2820. In this article, financial contracting is studied with the use of transactions from private investments in the public utility market. The tests reflect that using terms which are dependent on the future performance of an issuer increase with issuer risk. Among issuers who have higher cash burn rates, more uncertain investment prospects, and poorer stock performance, purchase discount-only contracts are not common and contracts that have contingent terms are used often. The evidence supports arguments that the issuer bargaining power with investors wears off as financing alternatives become more limited. Specifically, issuers usually use terms which can transfer control to investors in the weakest financial condition.

Market timing and firms’ financing choice, Kaya, H. D. (2012). International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(13). This article explicates the marketing time, as well as, the financing choice of the firm. A valuation model based on earnings is used to test the market timing theory of capital structure. This model allows the separation of equity mispricing from growth options and also an adverse selection that varies with time, hence avoiding the many interpretations of book-to-market ratio. It is discovered that equity market mispricing plays a major role in the decision of security choice. The results are robust to including proxies for time-varying growths options and also other methods of measuring mis-valuation.

Information asymmetry, monitoring, and the placement structure of corporate debt1, Krishnaswami, S., Spindt, P. A., & Subramaniam, V. (1999).Journal of Financial Economics, 51(3), 407-434. Aspects such as information asymmetry, monitoring, and also corporate debt1’s placement structure. An empirical analysis is carried out on the effect of flotation costs, regulation, agency conflicts, and private debt. Results show that firms that have larger issue sizes exploit the scale economies of public debt flotation costs. Firms that have larger contracting costs as a result of moral hazard have a higher percentage of private debt. No limited support exists for the adverse selection hypothesis. Little evidence is discovered that firms with beneficial private information about future profitability who also work under more information asymmetry have more dependence on private debt.

Private placement of common equity and earnings expectations, Goh, J., Gombola, M. J., Lee, H. W., & Liu, F. Y. (1999). Financial Review, 34(3), 19-32. Common equity and earnings expectations of the private placement are examined in this article. The analysts’ earnings forecast is examined subsequent to the private equity placement announcement. Results reflect that the analysts made tremendous upward revisions to their forecasts for current-year earnings. Also, these forecast revisions are not related to the risk changes of the equity placement but have major relations to announcement-period abnormal returns. The findings are continuous with the information hypothesis, which implies that private equity placements carry favorable details about future earnings.

Private Placement under the Control of Major Shareholder and Wealth Tunneling [J], Ming, Z., & Siyong, G. (2009). Accounting Research, 5, 012. This article analyzes private placement discount under the major shareholder’s control and also how to influence the value in a bid to investigate whether private placement is utilized as a wealth tunnel mechanism. It has been discovered that the opportunistic incentive of major shareholders is needed to execute private placement. Discount, as well as, the private placement percentage that was bought by the controlling shareholder determine whether and also how much to the tunnel.


The private placement of bank equity, Varma, R., & Szewczyk, S. H. (1993). The private placement of bank equity. Journal of Banking & Finance, 17(6), 1111-1131. This research work examines the role of common stock private placements as one source of bank capital. The results present that, information symmetry problems which usually attend new bank equity offers are reduced in the process of a private placement. Furthermore, privately placed common stock buyers seem to provide a good certification of bank holding companies that are capitally deficient. The evidence also asserts that buyers of common stock which are privately placed provide a monitoring service which aligns the bank manager’s and shareholder’s interests. Finally, there is no evidence that the attempts by the incumbent management to sell equity to a friendly buyer at the detriment of the current shareholders of the bank predominately motivate private placements.


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