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Venture Capital Exit Rights


  • Carsten Bienz
  • Uwe Walz


Theorists argue that exit rights can mitigate hold-up problems in venture capital. Using a hand-collected data-set of venture capital contracts from Germany we show that exit rights are included more frequently in venture capital contracts when a hold-up problem associated with the venture capitalist's exit decision is likely. Examples include drag-along and tag-along rights. Additionally, we find that almost all exit rights are allocated to the venture capitalist rather than to the entrepreneur. In addition, we show that besides the basic hold-up mechanism there are other mechanisms such as ex-ante bargaining power and the degree of pledgeable income that drive the allocation of exit rights.
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Suggested Citation

  • Carsten Bienz & Uwe Walz, 2010. "Venture Capital Exit Rights," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 1071-1116, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:19:y:2010:i:4:p:1071-1116

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
    2. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton & Jean Tirole, 2004. "Exit Options in Corporate Finance: Liquidity versus Incentives," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 327-353.
    3. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 473-494.
    4. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
    5. Preston McAfee, R., 1992. "Amicable divorce: Dissolving a partnership with simple mechanisms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 266-293, April.
    6. Hubbard, Thomas N, 2001. "Contractual Form and Market Thickness in Trucking," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(2), pages 369-386, Summer.
    7. Chan, Yuk-Shee & Siegel, Daniel R & Thakor, Anjan V, 1990. "Learning, Corporate Control and Performance Requirements in Venture Capital Contracts," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(2), pages 365-381, May.
    8. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817, June.
    9. Georg Noldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1995. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation: A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 163-179, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Patrick Bolton & Antoine Faure-Grimaud, 2010. "Satisficing Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 937-971.
    2. Patrick Herbst & Uwe Walz, 2017. "The Design of Vertical R&D Collaborations," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(333), pages 54-77, January.
    3. Rin, Marco Da & Hellmann, Thomas & Puri, Manju, 2013. "A Survey of Venture Capital Research," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier.
    4. Julia Hirsch & Uwe Walz, 2013. "Why do contracts differ between venture capital types?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 511-525, April.
    5. Groh, Alexander P. & Liechtenstein, Heinrich & Lieser, Karsten, 2008. "The European venture capital and private equity country attractiveness index(es)," IESE Research Papers D/773, IESE Business School.
    6. Ann-Kristin Achleitner & Reiner Braun & Eva Lutz & Uwe Reiner, 2014. "Industry relatedness in trade sales and venture capital investment returns," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 621-637, October.
    7. Gill, Andrej & Walz, Uwe, 2016. "Are VC-backed IPOs delayed trade sales?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 356-374.
    8. Lukas, Elmar & Mölls, Sascha & Welling, Andreas, 2016. "Venture capital, staged financing and optimal funding policies under uncertainty," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 250(1), pages 305-313.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General


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