Learn Why These Massive Companies Decided to Go Private

These companies shunned life on Wall Street.

For many companies, to go public is the ultimate dream. For others, however, life on Wall Street makes them want to move back to private life.

Being public can mean a big cash infusion — but it also means extensive regulation and scrutiny to boot. Learn why these companies decided to go private.

Click through to keep reading about the most valuable private companies to keep on your radar.

Company No. 1: AOL

“You’ve got mail” was one of the most iconic phrases of the 1990s — and that’s all thanks to America Online, the pioneering internet service that offered a widespread chance for many Americans to try dial-up. After riding the massive dot-com boom, AOL’s tides began to turn — and decided to quietly downsize and go private after being acquired by communications behemoth Verizon in June 2015.

Company No. 2: Burger King

Known to have one of the best fast food value menus, The King likes to tout the “Do It Your Way” philosophy, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that Burger King adopted that in its financial mantra, too. After private equity firm 3G Capital paid $1.56 billion in cash to take a controlling stake in BK in 2010, it privatized for the first time in decades. Even though the company reemerged on the market with a few shares in 2012, Burger King doesn’t exist as an independently traded entity.

Company No. 3: Dell

“Dude, you’re getting a Dell!” In the early 2000s, that advertising catchphrase encouraged many Americans to buy a new computer. Dell was one of the pioneers in the direct-to-consumer computer market — and a one-time leader in global PC sales. It went private after founder Michael Dell — with the help of some friends from investing firm Silver Lake Partners and Microsoft — ponied up over $24.4 billion. Dell, who founded his multimillion-dollar brainchild from his own garage — wanted to take the company back to basics.

Company No. 4: Panera Bread

You can pick two at Panera, but you can’t pick up any shares of the company’s stock after it went private in April 2017. The fast-casual eatery got snagged by the Luxembourg-based private equity firm JAB Holding — and even though you don’t know its name, you might know its other privately owned brands: Einstein Bros. Bagels, Caribou Coffee, Krispy Kreme and Peet’s Coffee & Tea.

Click through to read about the fastest growing industries to invest in this year.