Prospectus Liability and the Role of Gatekeepers as Informational Intermediaries: An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of the Statutory Provisions on Italian IPOs
This Article analyzes market reaction to the introduction into Italian legislation of a statutory system of (IPO) prospectus civil liability enacted in April 2007 on the basis of Directive 2003/71/EC.
In particular, we study the effects of the new regulation on gatekeepers, such as underwriters and auditors who are commonly qualified as information intermediaries. We analyse the effects on average underpricing, fees charged by the underwriters, syndicate composition and reputation, and auditor participation. Although we find only weak statistical evidence that the level of underpricing has increased after April 2007, there is a statistically significant tendency to have one of the Big Four auditors in post-April 2007 IPOs, with lower participation of international banks in syndication and sharing of prospectus liability.
Moreover, after April 2007 we observe an increase in the reputation of the underwriters acting as ‘responsabile del collocamento’ with lower underwriters’ fees charged.