Rights Offering (Issue)

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What is a 'Rights Offering (Issue)'

A rights offering (issue) is an issue of rights to a company's existing shareholders that entitles them to buy additional shares directly from the company in proportion to their existing holdings, within a fixed time period. In a rights offering, the subscription price at which each share may be purchased in generally at a discount to the current market price. Rights are often transferable, allowing the holder to sell them on the open market.

BREAKING DOWN 'Rights Offering (Issue)'

For example, a company whose stock is trading at $20 may announce a rights offering whereby its shareholders will be granted one right for each share held by them, with four rights required to buy each new share at a subscription price of $19. The company will also specify that the rights expire on a certain date, which is usually anywhere from one to three months from the date of announcement of the rights offering.

Companies typically issue rights to give their existing shareholders the opportunity to buy additional shares before other buyers, and also to enable current shareholders to maintain their proportionate stake in the company.

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