The role of the value added by the venture capitalists in timing and extent of IPOs
- We analyze the venture capitalist´s decision on the timing of the IPO, the offer price and the fraction of shares he sells in the course of the IPO. A venture capitalist may decide to take a company public or to liquidate it after one or two financing periods. A longer venture capitalist´s participation in a firm (later IPO) may increase its value while also increasing costs for the venture capitalist. Due to his active involvement, the venture capitalist knows the type of firm and the kind of project he finances before potential new investors do. This information asymmetry is resolved at the end of the second period. Under certain assumptions about the parameters and the structure of the model, we obtain a single equilibrium in which high-quality firms separate from low-quality firms. The latter are liquidated after the first period, while the former go public either after having been financed by the venture capitalist for two periods or after one financing period using a lock-up. Whether a strategy of one or two financing periods is chosen depends on the consulting intensity of the project and / or on the experience of the venture capitalist. In the separating equilibrium, the offer price corresponds to the true value of the firm. An earlier version of this paper appeared as: The Decision of Venture Capitalists on Timing and Extent of IPOs (ZEW Discussion Paper No. 03-12). This version July 2003.
Exit timing of venture capitalists in the course of an initial public offering
- We analyze the desinvestment decision of venture capitalists in the course of an IPO of their portfolio firms. The capital market learns of the project quality only in the period following the IPO. Venture capitalists with high-quality firms face a trade-off between immediately selling their stake in the venture at a price below the true value and having to wait until the true value is revealed. We show that the dilemma may be resolved via a reputation-acquiring mechanism in a repeated game set-up. Thereby, we can explain, e.g., the advent of "hot-issue market behavior" involving early disinvestments and a high degree of price uncertainty. Furthermore, we provide a new rationale for underpricing. Young venture capitalists may use underpricing as a device for credibly committing themselves to acquiring reputation.
Contractual relations between European VC-funds and investors : the impact of reputation and bargaining power on contractual design
- The paper explores factors that influence the design of financing contracts between venture capital investors and European venture capital funds. 122 Private Placement Memoranda and 46 Partnership Agreements are investigated in respect to the use of covenant restrictions and compensation schemes. The analysis focuses on the impact of two key factors: the reputation of VC-funds and changes in the overall demand for venture capital services. We find that established funds are more severely restricted by contractual covenants. This contradicts the conventional wisdom which assumes that established market participants care more about their reputation, have less incentive to behave opportunistically and therefore need less covenant restrictions. We also find that managers of established funds are more often obliged to invest own capital alongside with investors money. We interpret this as evidence that established funds have actually less reason to care about their reputation as compared to young funds. One reason for this surprising result could be that managers of established VC funds are older and closer to retirement and therefore put less weight on the effects of their actions on future business opportunities. We also explore the effects of venture capital supply on contract design. Gompers and Lerner (1996) show that VC-funds in the US are able to reduce the number of restrictive covenants in years with high supply of venture capital and interpret this as a result of increased bargaining power by VC-funds. We do not find similar evidence for Europe. Instead, we find that VC-funds receive less base compensation and higher performance related compensation in years with strong capital inflows into the VC industry. This may be interpreted as a signal of overconfidence: Strong investor demand seems to coincide with overoptimistic expectations by fund managers which make them willing to accept higher powered incentive schemes. JEL: G32 Keywords: Venture Capital, Contracting, Limited Partnership, Funds, Principal Agent, Compensation, Covenants, Reputation, Bargaining Power