Abstract: This paper investigates the factors that influence the decision to change the status of a publicly quoted company to that of a private company. We find that firms that go private are more likely to have higher CEO ownership and higher institutional ownership. In relation to their board structures, firms going private tend to have more duality but there is no statistical difference in the proportion of non-executive directors. They do not show signs of having excess free cash flows but there is some evidence of lower growth opportunities. We do not find that firms going private experience a greater threat of hostile acquisition. The results are therefore consistent with incentive and monitoring explanations of going private. Calculation of the probability of going private shows that incentive effects are stronger than the monitoring effects.