Difference Between Spin-Off and IPO

4 mins read
by Angel One

Spin-off and IPO, both result in fresh public companies yet have different points of starting, hence there is a subtle difference between spin-off and IPO. The basic spin-off vs IPO distinction is when a public parent company creates a new company that is public it is referred to as a spinoff. Whereas, in an IPO the company has been private and is going public for the first time.

Spin-off vs Initial Public Offering:

  • In an IPO vs spin-off company, spinoff generally occurs when it is believed that the newly formed company would be more successful as an individual company than being under its parent company. A spin-off also occurs when a subsidiary becomes profitable yet deviates from the key offerings of the parent company. Thus, they decide to make a separate entity. In contrast, an IPO occurs in order to raise money or capital by selling the stock of the company to the general public.
  • Another difference between a spin-off and IPO is that when a subsidiary or division of the parent company turns into an independent company via spinoff, the newly established company receives all the employees and assets that were assigned to it while it was under the parent company. Following assets include production lines, technologies, and products. However, the capital that was raised by selling its stock in an IPO can be utilized in various ways such as research and development, purchasing fixed assets (like buildings or equipment), or extending into new lines of products.
  • In a spinoff company, after organizing a subsidiary, the parent company distributes its shares to its prevalent stockholders in order to start the newly formed business and thus creating a traded company that is new and public. Here the difference between a spin-off and IPOis that in an IPO, the once private companies go through the IPO process with the aid of investment banks guiding and backing them financially.
  • In another IPO vs spin-off scenario, those who held a share in the parent company are not required to relinquish their own shares of the parent company while trading for the shares of the spin-off company. In an IPO, the underwriters of the investment banks purchase the shares that were privately held in order to sell them during the initial public offering to interconnected investors at a high price.

Benefits of a Spinoff:

  • When the parent company gets rid of the divisions that were underperforming, it gives the parent company to engage and focus more on its core capabilities. Thus in debate over the spin-off vs initial public offering, spin-off helps in reorganizing and reestablishing a company into an efficient and streamlined cooperation.
  • Between IPO vs spin-off, spin-offs are favoured upon by the participants of the market as they form independent companies that have perceptible brand identity thus are more concerned with the related fundamental business objectives.
  • As the large conglomerates are slow in responding to changes in the market which is why spin-off companies make for the best opportunities in seeking growth. Hence, in a spin-off vs IPO, a spin-off company looks more appealing in the market especially if it was profitable under the parent company.

Benefits of an IPO:

  • Although the primary reason for a private company to sell its share in a public market is to aid the private company to raise money, once they have an access to capital markets (which includes bond or debt offerings), allows for the company to expand and work for the long run.
  • Compared to the spin-off vs IPO scenario, when a company undergoes the IPO process, the credentials of the company gets a boost as the IPO process demands financial transparency. This helps in gaining the favour of banks and lenders for the future.
  • Once the company is listed for exchange in the market for an IPO, the company garners liquidity as there are numerous buyers waiting in line to buy its shares. Additionally, the company can increase its share after going public known as secondary offering. This step is taken by the majority of the IPO companies to raise even more capital.


In the debate over spin-off vs initial public offering, spin-off companies are established out of an already public parent company whereas initial public offering or IPO companies are formed from private companies that had gone public for the first time. They each have their own set of benefits and processes. However, whether IPO or spin-off, once they are created, they hold their own administrations, requirements, independence and more importantly the capacity to raise capital on their own.