DEFINITION of 'General Public Distribution'

A type of primary market offering in which the securities being issued are available to anyone who has the ability to purchase them. This differs from conventional public distributions of securities in which underwriting investment banks sell large blocks of the issued securities to large investors.

BREAKING DOWN 'General Public Distribution'

If you take part in a general public distribution of securities, you are participating in what is called the primary market: you are buying securities directly from the issuing company, and your funds go to it to finance its business activities. This is in contrast to the secondary market, where investors buy and sell securities from each other, with funds moving back and forth from investor to investor without involving the underlying company at all.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What's the difference between primary and secondary capital markets?

    In the primary market, investors buy securities directly from the company issuing them, while in the secondary market, investors ... Read Answer >>
  2. Who facilitates buying and selling on the primary market?

    Learn more about the primary marketplace -- home of initial public offerings -- and the major players that make buying and ... Read Answer >>
  3. After an initial public offering, does a company profit from increases in its share ...

    The short answer is "no". To understand why, recall that the stock market is actually comprised of two markets - a primary ... Read Answer >>
  4. What does the underwriter do in a new stock offering?

    Learn the role an underwriter plays for an initial public offering, and the steps an underwriter takes in preparing for an ... Read Answer >>
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    Learn the differences between private placements and initial public offerings that companies use to raise capital through ... Read Answer >>
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