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Privatization, also spelled privatisation , has several meanings. Primarily, it is the process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency, public service, or public property from the public sector to the private sector, either to a business that operates for profit or to a nonprofit organization. It may also mean the government outsourcing of services or functions to private firms, for example, revenue collection, law enforcement, and prison management.

Privatization, also spelled privatisation (in British English), has several meanings. Primarily, it is the process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency, public service, or public property from the public sector (a government) to the private sector, either to a business that operates for profit or to a nonprofit organization. It may also mean the government outsourcing of services or functions to private firms, for example, revenue collection, law enforcement, and prison management.

Privatization may also describe the following two types of transactions. The first is the purchase of all outstanding shares of a publicly traded company by private investors. The shares are then no longer traded at a stock exchange, as the company became private through private equity. The second is a demutualization of a mutual organization or cooperative to form a joint-stock company.

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