Public offering is an offering of sale of equity shares or other financial instruments to general public. Generally, any sale of securities to more than 35 people is deemed to be a public offering. This requires the filing of registration statements with the appropriate regulatory authorities. In U.S public offerings of corporate securities must be registered with and approved by the Securities-and-exchange-commission. This is normally conducted by an investment underwriter. Public offering is also referred to as offering.
The following is an example of a Federal Statute defining Public Offering:
According to 42 USCS § 2297h (10) the term "public offering" means an underwritten offering to the public of the common stock of the private corporation pursuant to section 3104 [42 USCS § 2297h-2].
[42 USCS § 2297h-2 says about the method of sale. It reads as follows:
(a) Authorization. The Board of Directors of the Corporation, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, shall transfer ownership of the assets and obligations of the Corporation to the private corporation established under section 3105 [42 USCS § 2297h-3] (which may be consummated through a merger or consolidation effected in accordance with, and having the effects provided under, the law of the State of incorporation of the private corporation, as if the Corporation were incorporated thereunder).
(b) Board determination. The Board, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, shall select the method of transfer and establish terms and conditions for the transfer that will provide the maximum proceeds to the Treasury of the United States and will provide for the long-term viability of the private corporation, the continued operation of the gaseous diffusion plants, and the public interest in maintaining reliable and economical domestic uranium mining and enrichment industries.
(c) Adequate proceeds. The Secretary of the Treasury shall not allow the privatization of the Corporation unless before the sale date the Secretary of the Treasury determines that the method of transfer will provide the maximum proceeds to the Treasury consistent with the principles set forth in section 3103(a) [42 USCS § 2297h-2(a)].
(d) Application of securities laws. Any offering or sale of securities by the private corporation shall be subject to the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77a et seq.), the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.), and the provisions of the Constitution and laws of any State, territory, or possession of the United States relating to transactions in securities.
(e) Expenses. Expenses of privatization shall be paid from Corporation revenue accounts in the United States Treasury.]