DEFINITION of 'Primary Distribution'

The original sale of a new security issue (bonds or stocks) from a company to investors/shareholders. Proceeds from a primary distribution are sent directly to the issuing company. All bond offerings are considered primary distributions.


Also sometimes referred to as a "primary offering".

BREAKING DOWN 'Primary Distribution'

A "secondary distribution" is the opposite of a primary distribution and refers to an occurrence where an existing shareholder sells a block of previously-issued stock and takes the proceeds from the sale. A company only receives funds for a primary distribution, or IPO; the stock continues to trade after the initial offering, but the funds are exchanged between buyers and sellers.

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