Private placements of Shares

22/08/2020 1 By indiafreenotes

Private placement, the issue is placed directly with a few selected small number of investors. This is also known as non-public offering. Typical investors include large banks, mutual funds, insurance companies and pension funds. The private placement does not have to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Private placements are much cheaper than IPOs. However, this method cannot be used for large issues because a small group of investors will have limited risk appetite. Also, these issues are not traded in the secondary market, as opposed to IPO securities, which once listed are traded in the secondary market. This makes it difficult for investors to liquidate these securities.

The term private placement refers to the sale of securities to a small number of private investors to raise capital. These private investors include mutual fund investors, banks, insurance companies and etc. Private placements are different from public issue since in the latter one the shares are sold in the open market to anyone willing to buy them whereas in private placements of shares the shares are sold to specific investors.

Private placement is a method of raising capital in which securities are sold directly to a selected group of investors rather than through a public offering. This targeted approach allows companies to raise funds from a specific set of investors, often institutions or high-net-worth individuals, without the need for public registration. Private placements are regulated by securities laws, and the process involves meticulous planning, compliance, and negotiations between issuers and investors.

Private placement is a valuable tool for companies seeking to raise capital efficiently while maintaining a degree of confidentiality. It provides flexibility in structuring deals, selecting investors, and tailoring terms to meet specific needs. While private placements may not be suitable for all companies, they offer a strategic avenue for raising capital, attracting strategic partners, and fueling growth in a controlled and efficient manner. Companies considering private placements should carefully assess their capital needs, regulatory obligations, and strategic goals before engaging in this form of capital raising.

Features of Private Placement:

  1. Limited Investor Pool:

Private placements involve a restricted number of investors. This targeted approach allows issuers to negotiate terms with a select group, often chosen based on their strategic alignment with the company’s goals.

  1. Exemption from Public Registration:

Unlike public offerings, private placements are exempt from the rigorous public registration process. This exemption is provided under various securities regulations, such as Regulation D in the United States or the SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) guidelines in India.

  1. Negotiable Terms:

Issuers and investors have more flexibility in negotiating the terms of the private placement. This includes aspects such as pricing, the structure of securities, and any covenants or conditions attached to the investment.

  1. Diverse Securities:

Private placements can involve a variety of securities, including equity, debt, convertible securities, or preferred shares. The choice of security depends on the company’s capital needs and the preferences of investors.

  1. Customized Agreements:

The terms and conditions of private placement agreements are often customized to suit the specific needs of both parties. This flexibility allows for tailoring the investment structure to align with the company’s strategy.

  1. Confidentiality:

Private placements offer a level of confidentiality that is not present in public offerings. Companies can raise capital without disclosing sensitive information to competitors or the broader market.

Regulatory Framework for Private Placement:

While private placements offer flexibility, they are subject to regulatory oversight to protect the interests of investors. The regulatory framework varies by jurisdiction, but common elements:

  1. Accredited Investors:

Many jurisdictions restrict private placements to accredited investors, who are deemed to have the financial sophistication to understand and assess the risks associated with these investments.

  1. Exemptions from Registration:

Private placements are exempt from the full registration requirements that public offerings must undergo. However, issuers must comply with specific regulations governing private placements.

  1. Disclosure Requirements:

While private placements provide confidentiality, issuers are still required to provide certain disclosures to investors. These disclosures may include financial statements, risk factors, and other relevant information.

  1. Limited Marketing and Solicitation:

The solicitation of investors in a private placement is limited compared to public offerings. Issuers must be cautious in their approach to avoid violating regulations related to marketing and advertising.

  1. Resale Restrictions:

Investors in private placements may face restrictions on selling their securities in the secondary market. These restrictions help maintain the private nature of the placement.

Advantages of Private Placement:

  1. Efficiency and Speed:

Private placements are generally faster and more cost-effective than public offerings. The absence of extensive regulatory reviews and public registration processes accelerates the capital-raising timeline.

  1. Selective Investor Engagement:

Issuers can choose investors strategically, targeting those with industry expertise, strategic alignment, or specific financial capabilities.

  1. Flexibility in Terms:

The negotiated nature of private placements allows issuers to tailor terms and conditions to meet the specific needs and goals of both the company and investors.

  1. Confidentiality:

Private placements offer a level of confidentiality, allowing companies to raise capital without divulging sensitive information to the public.

  1. Strategic Alignment:

By selectively choosing investors, companies can attract strategic partners who bring not just capital but also industry knowledge, networks, and expertise.

  1. Lower Costs:

The costs associated with private placements are generally lower than those of public offerings due to reduced regulatory requirements and marketing expenses.

Challenges and Considerations:

  1. Limited Capital:

Private placements may not be suitable for companies seeking significant amounts of capital, as the investor pool is restricted.

  1. illiquidity for Investors:

Investors in private placements may face challenges in selling their securities, as these transactions are often subject to restrictions.

  1. Regulatory Compliance:

Companies must navigate complex regulatory requirements to ensure compliance with securities laws. Failure to comply can result in legal consequences.

  1. Market Perception:

Companies choosing private placements may miss out on the visibility and market perception that comes with a public offering.

  1. Negotiation Complexity:

Negotiating terms with a select group of investors can be complex, requiring skilled negotiation and legal expertise to strike a mutually beneficial deal.

Provisions as per Companies Act

(1) A company may, subject to the provisions of this section, make a private placement of securities.

(2)  A private placement shall be made only to a select group of persons who have been identified by the Board (herein referred to as “identified persons”), whose number shall not exceed fifty or such higher number as may be prescribed [excluding the qualified institutional buyers and employees of the company being offered securities under a scheme of employees stock option in terms of provisions of clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 62], in a financial year subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.

(3) A company making private placement shall issue private placement offer and application in such form and manner as may be prescribed to identified persons, whose names and addresses are recorded by the company in such manner as may be prescribed.

Statutory Provisions for Private Placement of Securities:

Private Placement of Securities is covered under Section 42 of the Companies Act, 2013 and Companies (Prospectus and Allotment of Securities) Rules, 2014Private Placement is defined as any offer or invitation to subscribe or issue of securities to a select group of persons by a company (other than by way of public offer) through Private Placement Offer-cum-Application.

To whom can a Private Placement offer be made:

Private Placement Offer can be made to a prospective investor or any person who intends to invest a specific amount of funds in the Company against issue of securities. Offer to subscribe for the securities of a Company under Private Placement cannot be made to more than 200 persons in a Financial Year. If a company, listed or unlisted, makes an offer to allot or invites subscription, or allots, or enters into an agreement to allot, securities to more than the prescribed number of persons, same shall be deemed to be an offer to the public.


No advertisements, media marketing or distribution channels or agents to be used by the company to inform the public at large about such an issue.


Following procedure should be followed by the Company intending to issue securities under Private Placement:

  • Calling for the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company to offer securities on Private Placement Basis.
  • Passing of Board Resolution for issue of shares under Private Placement to specified persons and calling for Extra-Ordinary General Meeting of the Company to take members approval.
  • Filing form MGT-14- Board Resolution for issue of shares under Private Placement.
  • Issuing notices to the shareholders for Extra-Ordinary General Meeting of the Company as per timelines or with shorter consents.
  • Passing Special Resolution in the Shareholders meeting for issue and allotment of shares under Private Placement.
  • Sending Offer cum Application Letters in form PAS-4 to identified persons within 30 days of recording the names of the identified persons. Such Offer cum Application Letters can be sent in electronic mode (emails) or by post.
  • Receiving allotment amount in a separate bank account within the offer period as mentioned in the Offer cum Application Letter.
  • The Company shall allot shares to the applicants who has subscribed for the same through application letter and deposited the subscription amount within the offer period.
  • After Closure of Offer Period call a Board Meeting and pass Resolution for Allotment of Securities to the entitled subscribers.
  • Filing of return of allotment in Form PAS-3 within 15 days from the date of the allotment i.e. After passing Board Resolution for allotment
  • Make sure the securities are allotted within 60 days of the receipt of Application amount by the Company.
  • Stamp Duty on allotment shall be paid @ 0.10% through channels as available in respective states. e.g. In Mumbai it can be paid to ESBTR or GRASS MAHAKOSH site
  • The Company will be allowed to utilize the money raised through Private Placement only after Return of Allotment in Form PAS-3 is filed with the Registrar of Companies.
  • Record of Private Placement should be maintained by the Company in prescribed Form PAS-5.
  • The Company should update its Registrar of Members in a proper manner upon completion of allotment.