When and why did 3M go public?


3M- a thriving organisation amidst the pandemic

3M is now a household name that easily rings a bell due to its popularity in the pandemic hit the market. This company slogged through the initial days of finding a low-grade mineral that could have easily ended the enterprise and its goals before it even set foot in a market. But the founders kept striving to look for new investors, innovative products they could use their findings in, and finally turned it into a huge success and made it to the list of Fortune 500. The company was incorporated back in 1902. It all began in Minnesota, the United States, which led the company to invest in healthcare, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This is a brilliant example of a company that didn’t set out to deal in the medical field but, in the wake of a pandemic, hit it home by being one of the top manufacturers of n95 masks.


Brief history of 3M

The company went public with its shares for the first time in 1946 in the NYSE. But before that, it had already turned into a reputed corporate name primarily due to its products serving in the war. 3M products were used as defense materials in World war II in the 1940s. This, along with the brand name, which had already made its mark in history through the launch of scotch tape, investment in innovation through the establishment of Central Research Laboratory, the company was set to go public. This may seem odd for some that a profiting organization goes public only when it has something to lose, but that wasn’t the case with 3M. It is one of the companies which has been known to survive the market crashes in 2000, 2008, and further. Companies at their prime often opt for going public to gather further investments. As 3M is known for its innovative ideas and risk-taking ventures, it was inevitable that the company would risk gaining more investment from the public and investing in its research and development, new product development, and multiple other ventures. Shortly after going public in 1946 for the first time, the company came up with its innovation in the entertainment industry, which was a huge hit. 3M sound recording tape was launched in 1947, and it revolutionized the way people heard music. The option for playback and voice recording at a later time could now be availed through their genius product, and hence it again made its mark in a different industry altogether.  


Recent popularity

It is surely surprising that a company that can easily purchase products from through amazon, like n95 masks and n95 respirators had something to do with the entertainment industry. The best part of this company is that it never stopped shooting for the stars and diversifying its business operations in different sectors. The entertainment industry in the 1940s and gift ribbons and surgical tapes are just some of the new products that the company vendored to its consumers in the 1940s.


Why did it go public?

If one wondered why the company went public, the answer wouldn’t merely be profit, but since its inception, it tended to diversify its business instead of calling it quits. It excelled not only in stationary, surgical, or safety equipment in the United States but went Global with its initiatives. With the public offering came huge responsibilities to share dividends, and the company was far from letting its investors go home empty-handed. In 1951 the company went global and set up its international divisions in Australia, France, Mexico, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, and Brazil. Without the primary public investment, the company wouldn’t have been able to carry out its market diversification the way it did in reality. This was one of the fundamental reasons it did what it did by offering its shares. But as it diversified its reach, it also gained popularity in international markets and started offering its shares there too. For example, in India, its flagship company 3M India Ltd ventured in safety and graphics, energy business, and more. In this country, 3M’s flagship company was incorporated in 1987, and in 1989 it went public. This was a way to pull more investment and public money towards its ventures, without which it would have to limit its diversification. Its innovative products in the surgical field are popular worldwide now and are recognized on a global platform. It has been able to set an international standard for other competitors in the area. This has enabled the company to earn its spot on the Fortune 500 list. In this time of the pandemic, it is not surprising that 3M has stood out to be one of the best-known brands to come up and produce some of the best respirators, PPE, and safety kits in the market.


Strategic Moves

The company has always sought out ways to invest and reinvest in various businesses to ensure that it sustains through multiple alternatives in a market crisis. To do this, it had to ensure that it gained a considerable investment while it was going forward with its innovation and to further invest in the R&D. This was why the company decided to go public in the United States in 1946 for the first time and then again in other international divisions of its flagship companies which enabled it to gain perspective in new markets and come up with the products according to the consumer needs.

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