The process of disposal of state-owned businesses to the private sector. Besides tax revenues, profits from public companies and economic penalties, privatization is another venue for the state to get inflow of money. Opposite of nationalization.
The term also refers to the repurchasing of all of a publicly traded and owned company's outstanding stock by employees or private investors. From this moment on, the company's stock no longer trades publicly on a exchange and investors can no longer purchase a stake in that company. Also called going private; opposite of going public.