We investigate the motivations and the returns to the firms and investors using Private Investments in Public Equities (PIPE) financing, an increasingly common form of equity-based financing. From 1995-2000, 1,466 firms raised more than $29 billion through 2,626 PIPE issues. We find that PIPE issuers are poorly performing firms, urgently in need of cash that, as a consequence, are without access to traditional forms of financing. The contract terms and embedded options in PIPEs allow investors to alter their exposure to post-issue movements in the value of the issuer’s equity. As a result, the returns earned by investors substantially exceed those of shareholders. Hence PIPEs provide incentives for investors to make investments in firms with substantial operating uncertainties, enabling companies barred from traditional capital markets to obtain much needed financing
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