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Ventura Wealth Clients
2 min Read

When a company decides to go public for the first time through an Initial Public Offering (IPO), a crucial step involves determining the price at which its shares will be offered to investors. This price discovery process can significantly impact the success of the IPO investment, attracting investors and generating capital for the company. Here's where the concept of book building in IPOs comes in.

What is book building in an IPO?

Book building is a method used to determine the issue price of a company's shares during an IPO. Unlike a fixed price offering, where the company sets the price beforehand, book building allows for a more dynamic price discovery process based on investor demand.

How does book building in an IPO work?

  • Price Band: The company, in consultation with its investment bankers, sets a price band within which bids are likely to be received. This band provides a range for potential investors.
  • Investor Bids: Institutional investors, such as mutual funds, insurance companies, and asset management firms, submit bids specifying the number of shares they are interested in purchasing and the price they are willing to pay per share. These bids can be placed at any price within the pre-defined band.
  • Building the Book: The investment banker, acting as the book runner, collects and compiles all the bids received from various investors. This compilation is called the "book." The book essentially reflects the overall demand for the company's shares at different price points within the band.
  • Price Determination: Based on the bids received and the overall book, the company, along with its investment bankers, analyses the demand at different price points. The final issue price is typically set at a level that balances strong investor demand with the company's fundraising objectives. This price ensures sufficient capital is raised while ensuring shares are not priced excessively high.
  • Allocation of Shares: Once the issue price is determined, the investment banker allocates shares to the bidders based on their bids and the overall demand. Investors who bid at or above the cut-off price will be allotted shares, while those bidding below might not receive any or a reduced allocation.

Advantages of book building

  • Efficient Price Discovery: Book building allows for a more transparent and efficient price discovery process, reflecting genuine investor demand for the company's shares.
  • Fair Allocation: The book building process helps ensure a fair allocation of shares among interested investors.
  • Reduced Risk of Underpricing or Overpricing: By analysing investor demand, book building helps avoid situations where shares are priced too low (underpriced) or too high (overpriced).


Book building is a vital component of the IPO process, facilitating a dynamic price discovery mechanism for a company's shares during its initial public offering. While it offers advantages like efficiency and fair allocation, it's important for investors, particularly retail investors, to be aware of the potential limitations and conduct thorough research before participating in an IPO with a book building process.

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