Martin Kenney and Donald Patton of the University of California, Davis are making available to other researchers the "Firm Database of Initial Public Offerings (IPOs): from June 1996 through 2006, Version A." Interested scholars who would like to be emailed the data should contact Don. This was a database we featured at the 2007 Kauffman Symposium on Entrepreneurship and Innovation Data but at that time the data was not complete. Now, version A is done and Don and Martin have plans for several updates to the database in the coming year. So, without further ado, here is the data base summary included with the data file:
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This database is comprised of all de novo initial public offerings (IPOs) on American stock exchanges and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from June 1996 through December 2006. In assembling the set of firms to be included we initially relied on Thomson Financial Venture Expert to generate a list of all IPOs over this time period. From this list the following types of firms and filings were excluded: mutual funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs), asset acquisition or blank check companies, foreign F-1 filers, all small business (SB-2) IPOs with the exception of Internet firms, and all spin-offs and other firms that were not true de novo firms.
Every firm going public must file a prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission prior to its initial public stock offering. The IPO is a defining event in the history of any firm, and it performs two functions. First, it provides the firm with capital so that it can continue its expansion. Second, after the IPO, the stakes of both management and investors, (subject to certain lock-up delays) becomes liquid. In return, the firm must conform to the reporting and transparency requirements imposed by the SEC under the Securities Act of 1933. One of the primary objectives of the Securities Act of 1933 is to require companies making a public offering of their securities to publicly disclose relevant business and financial information about their company so that potential investors can make an informed investment decision regarding the offering. To achieve this end the 1933 Act requires companies going public to file disclosure documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the most important of which are the general form S-1 registration statement and the 424B prospectus.
This database has been constructed directly from these registration statements and prospectuses. These documents were found on the SEC's Electronic Data, Gathering and Retrieval (EDGAR) website. Up until the advent of the SEC's EDGAR system, IPO registration statements and other SEC documents were filed in paper form in officially designated locations and libraries. Beginning in the 1980s the SEC began to provide Internet access to these documents through its EDGAR program, but it wasn't until June 1996 that public firms were required to file all of their documents in this format. Therefore a complete record of all IPO documents for firms going public only begins in June 1996, and this is the starting point of this database.