Discounts for lack of marketability reflect expectations of elapsed time and/or expenses in converting illiquid assets into cash and can be a key factor in pricing assets. Because discounts for lack of marketability address market phenomena, they are best assessed through empirical data from market-based transactions, such as over-the-counter (OTC) convertible debt pricing. Of the 3,270 OTC firms examined, the majority issued convertible debt at a stock conversion price discount to market, yielding a median lack of marketability discount of 23.5% in 2005 and 20% in 2008. These discounts and lack of marketability are contrary to non-OTC convertible bond issuances.
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