Underwritten offering

A form of public offering where the underwriters (investment banks) purchases the entire bond issue.   The underwriters establishes the pricing of the issue, and are responsible for selling the bonds to dealers, who in turn sell them to investors.

For smaller bond issues, one single underwriter may have the capacity to purchase the entire bond issue, and take on the risks involved.  

For larger issues, a syndicate of investment banks, with an appointed lead underwriter, is often employed.  Such an offering can be referred to as a syndicated offering.

See also: Best efforts offering, Syndicated offering

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