Definition of unsubscribe
: to stop subscribing to an e-mail mailing list : to choose to no longer receive e-mail communications (such as newsletters or advertisements) from a company or organization When you first subscribe, you will receive information on how to unsubscribe … — Stuart J. Goldman
First Known Use of unsubscribe
Financial Definition of UNSUBSCRIBE
What It Is
The term unsubscribed describes the portion of the shares in an IPO that are not sold prior to the IPO.
How It Works
Let’s assume Company XYZ is going public. It plans to issue 10 million shares in an initial public offering. Its investment bank, Bank ABC, agrees to underwrite the IPO. Bank ABC creates a document detailing Company XYZ’s business model, financial forecasts and the terms of the offering, and it meets with potential investors to gauge their interest in purchasing the 10 million shares. After this process, Bank ABC agrees to sell 9 million shares for $25 per share. The remaining 1 million are unsubscribed, meaning they don't have a buyer.
Why It Matters
IPOs often become unsubscribed because the price is too high. Sometimes, a back stop purchaser agrees to buy leftover shares from the underwriter of an equity or rights offering. A back stop purchaser is like insurance -- the purchaser guarantees in some form that a company (and its investment bank) will raise the money it intends to raise.
In our example, if for some reason Bank ABC can’t sell all the shares in the IPO (this is called the unsubscribed portion), the back stop purchaser agrees to buy those leftovers. The back stop purchaser, of course, obtains a fee for agreeing to be the back stop because it is taking on the risk of having to purchase (and they try to reissue) the Company XYZ securities.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up unsubscribe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).