A method of issuing shares, normally used where small amounts are involved. The shares are placed by an issuing house or a broker with investors who may be interested. The broker makes a profit from the difference between the buying and selling price of the shares. I This form of issuing shares is common with private companies converting to public companies. It is like an introduction, except that in that case the broker or issuing house does not purchase a stated number of shares, but agrees to introduce them gradually on to the market.
Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.