Why are Buyouts Leveraged? The Financial Structure of Private Equity Firms
AbstractThis paper presents a model of the financial structure of private equity firms. In the model, the general partner of the firm encounters a sequence of deals over time where the exact quality of each deal cannot be credibly communicated to investors. We show that the optimal financing arrangement is consistent with a number of characteristics of the private equity industry. First, the firm should be financed by a combination of fund capital raised before deals are encountered, and capital that is raised to finance a specific deal. Second, the fund investors' claim on fund cash flow is a combination of debt and levered equity, while the general partner receives a claim similar to the carry contracts received by real-world practitioners. Third, the fund will be set up in a manner similar to that observed in practice, with investments pooled within a fund, decision rights over investments held by the general partner, and limits set in partnership agreements on the size of particular investments. Fourth, the model suggests that incentives will lead to overinvestment in good states of the world and underinvestment in bad states, so that the natural industry cycles will be multiplied. Fifth, investments made in recessions will on average outperform investments made in booms.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6133.
Date of creation: Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
- G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
- G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gompers, Paul & Lerner, Josh, 1996. "The Use of Covenants: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Partnership Agreements," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 463-98, October.
- Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar & Wan Wong, 2005.
"Smart Institutions, Foolish Choices? The Limited Partner Performance Puzzle,"
NBER Working Papers
11136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar & Wan Wongsunwai, 2007. "Smart Institutions, Foolish Choices: The Limited Partner Performance Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(2), pages 731-764, 04.
- Gompers, Paul & Lerner, Josh, 1999. "An analysis of compensation in the U.S. venture capital partnership," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 3-44, January.
- Lerner, Josh, 1995. " Venture Capitalists and the Oversight of Private Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 301-18, March.
- Kandel, Eugene & Leshchinskii, Dima & Yuklea, Harry, 2011. "VC Funds: Aging Brings Myopia," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 431-457, April.
- Nachman, David C & Noe, Thomas H, 1994. "Optimal Design of Securities under Asymmetric Information," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(1), pages 1-44.
- David T. Robinson & Berk A. Sensoy, 2013.
"Do Private Equity Fund Managers Earn Their Fees? Compensation, Ownership, and Cash Flow Performance,"
Review of Financial Studies,
Society for Financial Studies, vol. 26(11), pages 2760-2797.
- Robinson, David T. & Sensoy, Berk A., 2011. "Do Private Equity Fund Managers Earn Their Fees? Compensation, Ownership, and Cash Flow Performance," Working Paper Series 2011-14, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
- Ulf Axelson & Tim Jenkinson, 2008.
"Leverage and Pricing in Buyouts: An Empirical Analysis,"
Economics Series Working Papers
2008fe20, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Ulf Axelson & Tim Jenkinson & Per StrÃ¶mberg & Michael S. Weisbach, 2008. "Leverage and Pricing in Buyouts: An Empirical Analysis," OFRC Working Papers Series 2008fe20, Oxford Financial Research Centre.
- Weisbach, Michael & Axelson, Ulf & Jenkinson, Tim & Stromberg, Per, 2008. "Leverage and Pricing in Buyouts: An Empirical Analysis," Working Papers 08-1, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
- Robinson, David T. & Sensoy, Berk A., 2010. "Private Equity in the 21st Century: Cash Flows, Performance, and Contract Terms from 1984-2010," Working Paper Series 2010-21, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
- Driessen, Joost & Lin, Tse-Chun & Phalippou, Ludovic, 2012.
"A New Method to Estimate Risk and Return of Nontraded Assets from Cash Flows: The Case of Private Equity Funds,"
Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(03), pages 511-535, June.
- Joost Driessen & Tse-Chun Lin & Ludovic Phalippou, 2008. "A New Method to Estimate Risk and Return of Non-Traded Assets from Cash Flows: The Case of Private Equity Funds," NBER Working Papers 14144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.