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Evolution of Decision and Control Rights in Venture Capital Contracts: An Empirical Analysis

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  • Uwe Walz
  • Carsten Bienz

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Abstract

We analyze the structure and evolution of the allocation of decision and control rights in venture capital contracts by using a sample of 464 contracts between venture capitalists (VC) and portfolio firms from Germany. We focus on the evolution of control and decisions rights along three time dimensions: the point in time when the contract was signed, the expected duration of the contract and the actual duration of the relationship. We show that contracts are not static but that control rights are adjusted along all three time dimensions. First, we observe a change in the structure but not in the level of the VC’s control rights during the relationship between the VC and the portfolio firm. While venture capitalists return superfluous operational rights to entrepreneurs, they gain (valuable) exit rights during the course of the relationship. Second, we show that the shorter the expected length of the VC’s engagement the more control rights are allocated to the hands of the VC. Finally, we observe that learning took place in the German VC market. Keywords: venture capital, corporate governance, empirical contract theory, control rights,exit rights.JEL classification: G24, G32, D86, D80, G34.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Financial Markets Group in its series FMG Discussion Papers with number dp585.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fmg:fmgdps:dp585

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Cited by:
  1. Armin Schwienbacher, 2008. "Venture capital investment practices in Europe and the United States," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 195-217, September.
  2. Hirsch, Julia & Walz, Uwe, 2006. "Why do contracts differ between VC types? Market segmentation versus corporate governance varieties," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/12, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  3. Arcot, Sridhar, 2014. "Participating convertible preferred stock in venture capital exits," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 72-87.

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