Rights Issues

Rights Issues Definition: How is it different from public issues?

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In the realm of corporate finance, companies often seek additional funds to expand, innovate, or simply strengthen their balance sheets. Two primary methods through which publicly traded companies can raise these funds are rights issues and public issues. Understanding the nuances of each can provide significant insights into their roles in strategic financial planning.

This article explains what rights issues and public issues are, compares their characteristics, and explores their connection to EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortisation).

What are Rights Issues?

Rights issues are a method by which a company raises additional capital in the capital markets by offering new shares to existing shareholders at a predetermined price, usually at a discount to the current trading price. Shareholders are given the “right” to buy new shares according to the number they already own.

Features of Rights Issues:

  • Pre-emptive Rights: Rights issues respect the preemptive right of existing shareholders to maintain their proportional ownership of the company.
  • Discounted Price: Shares are typically offered at a discount to entice shareholders to invest more in the company.
  • Transferable Options: These rights can often be transferred to other investors if the original shareholders do not wish to purchase additional shares.
  • Limited Time Offer: The offer has a specific time limit within which shareholders must act, after which the rights expire.

What are Public Issues?

Public issues involve a company offering its shares to the public for the first time (Initial Public Offering, IPO) or through subsequent offerings (Follow-on Public Offering, FPO) to raise capital. These shares are offered to new investors and can significantly expand the company’s shareholder base.

Features of Public Issues:

  • Open to All Investors: Unlike rights issues, public issues are available to any interested investor, not just existing shareholders.
  • Market-Driven Pricing: The price of the shares is often determined by the current market conditions and can be set through a book-building process.
  • Regulatory Oversight: Public issues generally involve significant regulatory oversight to protect the interests of public investors.
  • Purpose of Fundraising: Funds raised can be used for various purposes like expansion, debt repayment, or general corporate purposes.

Comparative Analysis of Rights Issues and Public Issues

When companies decide to raise capital, they often choose between issuing new shares through a rights issue or a public issue. Both methods serve the purpose of raising funds but are significantly different in their approach and implications for existing shareholders and the company. Here’s a detailed comparative analysis of rights issues and public issues:

Rights Issues


  1. Cost-Effective: Rights issues involve lower underwriting fees and other related costs compared to public issues.
  2. Speed and Simplicity: Less regulatory scrutiny can speed up the process, as the offering is limited to existing shareholders.
  3. Loyalty and Confidence: It signals confidence from management to the shareholders, potentially strengthening their loyalty and commitment to the company.
  4. Avoiding Dilution: Provides existing shareholders a chance to maintain their ownership percentage without dilution.


  1. Limited Capital Raise: The amount of capital raised is limited by the shareholder base and their willingness to invest more funds.
  2. Shareholder Inequity: Not all shareholders might be in a position to purchase additional shares, potentially leading to inequity.
  3. Market Perception: If a rights issue is priced significantly below market value, it might signal financial distress, potentially impacting the stock price negatively.

Public Issues


  1. Large Capital Raise: Public issues can potentially raise significant amounts of capital from a diverse pool of investors.
  2. Market Exposure: Enhances visibility and credibility in the market, attracting attention from institutional investors and analysts.
  3. Diversified Investor Base: Helps in diversifying the investor base, reducing dependency on the existing shareholders.


  1. High Costs: Involves significant expenses including underwriting fees, legal costs, and marketing expenses.
  2. Regulatory and Time Constraints: Requires more rigorous regulatory approvals and can be time-consuming.
  3. Market Risk: There’s a risk of under-subscription or unfavourable market conditions affecting the issue price and uptake.

Comparative Analysis

1.      Purpose and Suitability:

  • Rights issues are more suited for companies looking to quickly raise capital with lower costs and minimal regulatory hurdles, typically used by companies needing to shore up their balance sheets in a timely manner.
    • Public issues are suitable for companies aiming for substantial capital infusion, market expansion, and increased public awareness.

2.      Impact on Shareholders:

  • Rights issues are generally favourable to existing shareholders, providing them an opportunity to invest further at a discounted rate.
    • Public issues might dilute existing shareholdings but offer the chance to tap into a broader investment base, which can lead to greater liquidity and potentially higher valuations.

3.      Market Perception:

  • Rights issues might be perceived negatively if seen as a distressing move, whereas public issues, especially IPOs, are often viewed as growth-oriented and positive.

4.      Regulatory Oversight:

  • Rights issues face less scrutiny compared to public issues, which are subject to extensive disclosure and regulatory standards to protect public investors.

Download Bajaj Finserv App to delve into the intricate decision-making process between a rights issue and a public issue, contingent upon factors such as the company’s financial well-being, immediate capital requirements, shareholder composition, and overarching strategic objectives. Each approach presents unique benefits and hurdles, underscoring the significance of this decision within the company’s financial strategy.

Connection to EBITDA

Both rights issues and public issues are connected to EBITDA in that the funds raised may be used to enhance the company’s operations, leading to better EBITDA margins. Improvements in EBITDA can result from expansion, reduction in debt (and hence interest costs), or more efficient operations due to new investments funded by these issues.

EBITDA Full Form: EBITDA stands for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortisation. It is a measure used to evaluate a company’s operating performance without the need to factor in financing decisions, accounting decisions, or tax environments.


Rights issues and public issues are critical tools in corporate finance, each with distinct characteristics and uses. Rights issues offer a way for companies to raise capital while allowing existing shareholders to maintain their ownership levels, whereas public issues can open the company to a broader range of investors and potentially bring in significantly more capital.

Understanding the differences and strategic use of each can significantly affect a company’s financial health and operational efficiency, reflected in metrics like EBITDA. Recognizing these factors can help investors make more informed decisions in both participating in such offerings and evaluating a company’s financial strategies.

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