Laureate Education: First-Ever Benefit Corporation IPO

business_ethics_highlights_2Those interested in the emerging benefit corporation and B Corp movements should have a look at this blog post and, particularly, the links contained within. A benefit corporation initial public offering is an interesting event because it means that the post-IPO firm will both (i) have investor-owners (that is, owners who bear no other substantial relationship to the firm except being residual claimants) and (ii) have no duty to manage the firm in the interests of its residual owners. One interesting classroom use of the Laureate Education case would be to juxtapose it with Milton Friedman’s “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits” and ask whether Friedman would object to either (a) to the formation of firms like Laureate Education, or (b) to firms like Laureate Education “going public” and recruiting investor-owners who will not be the objects of management’s fiduciary care. (The answer is not as obvious as most business ethics and CSR people probably think it is.) >>>

LINK: Laureate Education – First IPO for a Benefit Corporation (by Haskell Murray for Business Law Prof Blog)

Laureate Education has chosen the Delaware public benefit corporation statute to organize under, rather than one of the states that more closely follows the Model Benefit Corporation Legislation.

*Remember that there are differences between certified B corporations and benefit corporations. Etsy, which IPO’d recently, is currently only a certified B corporation. Even Etsy’s own PR folks confused the two terms in their initial announcement of their certification.

What do you think?


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