A public company should also be distinguished from a private company which is not permitted to offer its shares to the general public, but both public and private companies operate in what is known as the private sector.
A state-owned company is a company which is owned by the government for the benefit of the general public, but the difference there is that it operates in the public sector.
A Review of Italian and UK. Company Law. A joint study by. Consiglio Nazionale dei Dottori Commercialisti e degli Esperti Contabili.