IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Private matters

  • Helwege, Jean
  • Packer, Frank
Registered author(s):

    Why do private firms stay private? Empirical evidence on this issue is sparse, as most private firms in the U.S. do not report their financial results. We investigate why private status matters by taking advantage of a unique dataset of large, leveraged private firms with SEC filings. Unlike a number of other studies, we find that neither the existence of growth opportunities, nor the desire of firm founders to diversify, is a principal determinant of the decision whether or not to retain private status. Rather, the existence of private benefits of control appears to serve as the most significant incentive to stay private. Family-controlled firms have significantly lower probabilities of filing for an IPO, while a board structure that grants management relatively more autonomy lowers the probability of an IPO filing as well. Cross-sectional analysis of profitability and ex post performance suggests that while private benefits of control may encourage firms to stay private, they do not have detrimental effects on firm efficiency. In contrast, firms controlled by private equity specialists appear to place a low value on control benefits and are likely to go public as a means of cashing out.

    If 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.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WJD-4V59VX9-1/2/392b52d788ea1ce561057fbd25c61737
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    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.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Intermediation.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 362-383

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinin:v:18:y:2009:i:3:p:362-383
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622875

    References listed on IDEAS
    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.:

    as in new window
    1. James C. Brau & Bill Francis & Ninon Kohers, 2003. "The Choice of IPO versus Takeover: Empirical Evidence," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76(4), pages 583-612, October.
    2. Stulz, ReneM., 1988. "Managerial control of voting rights : Financing policies and the market for corporate control," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 25-54, January.
    3. Lucian Arye Bebchuk, 1999. "A Rent-Protection Theory of Corporate Ownership and Control," NBER Working Papers 7203, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Barclay, Michael J. & Holderness, Clifford G., 1989. "Private benefits from control of public corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 371-395, December.
    5. Anderson, Ronald C & Reeb, David M, 2003. "Founding-Family Ownership, Corporate Diversification, and Firm Leverage," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 653-84, October.
    6. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," NBER Working Papers 8876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Lerner, Joshua, 1994. "Venture capitalists and the decision to go public," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 293-316, June.
    8. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1994. "Debt and Seniority: An Analysis of the Role of Hard Claims in Constraining Management," NBER Working Papers 4886, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Zingales, Luigi, 1994. "The Value of the Voting Right: A Study of the Milan Stock Exchange Experience," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(1), pages 125-48.
    10. Villalonga, Belen & Amit, Raphael, 2006. "How do family ownership, control and management affect firm value?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 385-417, May.
    11. Mike Burkart & Fausto Panunzi & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Family Firms," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1944, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
      • Mike Burkart & Fausto Panunzi & Andrei Shleifer, 2003. "Family Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(5), pages 2167-2202, October.
    12. Yasushi Hamao & Frank Packer & Jay R. Ritter, 1998. "Institutional affiliation and the role of venture capital: evidence from initial public offerings in Japan," Staff Reports 52, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    13. Kim, Woojin & Weisbach, Michael S., 2008. "Motivations for public equity offers: An international perspective," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 281-307, February.
    14. Jean Helwege & Christo Pirinsky & René M. Stulz, 2005. "Why Do Firms Become Widely Held? An Analysis of the ynamics of Corporate Ownership," NBER Working Papers 11505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Boot, Arnoud W A & Gopalan, Radhakrishnan & Thakor, Anjan, 2006. "Market Liquidity, Investor Participation and Managerial Autonomy: Why Do Firms Go Private?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5510, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. DeAngelo, Harry & DeAngelo, Linda & Rice, Edward M, 1984. "Going Private: Minority Freezeouts and Stockholder Wealth," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 367-401, October.
    17. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    18. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Legal Determinants of External Finance," Working Paper 19443, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    19. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1999. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(2), pages 471-517, 04.
    20. Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 1998. "Diversity of Opinion and Financing of New Technologies," Working Papers 98-29, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    21. Stoughton, Neal M & Wong, Kit Pong & Zechner, Josef, 2001. "IPOs and Product Quality," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(3), pages 375-408, July.
    22. Mitchell A. Petersen, 2009. "Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 435-480, January.
    23. Boot, Arnoud W A & Thakor, Anjan V, 1997. "Financial System Architecture," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(3), pages 693-733.
    24. Jay R. Ritter & Ivo Welch, 2002. "A Review of IPO Activity, Pricing, and Allocations," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(4), pages 1795-1828, 08.
    25. Ritter, Jay R., 1987. "The costs of going public," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 269-281, December.
    26. Randolph P. Beatty & Jay R. Ritter, . "Investment Banking, Reputation and the Underpricing of Initial Public Offerings," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 02-85, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    27. Thomas J. Chemmanur & Shan He & Debarshi K. Nandy, 2010. "The Going-Public Decision and the Product Market," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(5), pages 1855-1908.
    28. Yosha Oved, 1995. "Information Disclosure Costs and the Choice of Financing Source," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 3-20, January.
    29. Klein, April, 1998. "Firm Performance and Board Committee Structure," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 275-303, April.
    30. Palmon, Oded & Wald, John K., 2002. "Are two heads better than one? The impact of changes in management structure on performance by firm size," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 213-226, July.
    31. Marco Pagano & Fabio Panetta & Luigi Zingales, 1995. "Why Do Companies Go Public? An Empirical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5367, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    32. Stewart C. Myers, 2000. "Outside Equity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1005-1037, 06.
    33. Loughran, Tim & Ritter, Jay R. & Rydqvist, Kristian, 1995. "Initial public offerings: International insights," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 139-140, May.
    34. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    35. Smart, Scott B. & Zutter, Chad J., 2003. "Control as a motivation for underpricing: a comparison of dual and single-class IPOs," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 85-110, July.
    36. Marco Pagano & Ailsa Röell, 1998. "The Choice Of Stock Ownership Structure: Agency Costs, Monitoring, And The Decision To Go Public," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 187-225, February.
    37. Baker, Malcolm & Gompers, Paul A, 2003. "The Determinants of Board Structure at the Initial Public Offering," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 569-98, October.
    38. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jørgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 745-778, September.
    39. Burkart, Mike & Gromb, Denis & Panunzi, Fausto, 1997. "Large Shareholders, Monitoring, and the Value of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 693-728, August.
    40. Doidge, Craig & Karolyi, G. Andrew & Stulz, Rene M., 2004. "Why are foreign firms listed in the U.S. worth more?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 205-238, February.
    41. Zingales, Luigi, 1995. "Insider Ownership and the Decision to Go Public," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 425-48, July.
    42. Megginson, William L & Weiss, Kathleen A, 1991. " Venture Capitalist Certification in Initial Public Offerings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(3), pages 879-903, July.
    43. Boone, Audra L. & Casares Field, Laura & Karpoff, Jonathan M. & Raheja, Charu G., 2007. "The determinants of corporate board size and composition: An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 66-101, July.
    44. Benveniste, Lawrence M. & Busaba, Walid Y. & Wilhelm, William Jr., 2002. "Information Externalities and the Role of Underwriters in Primary Equity Markets," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 61-86, January.
    45. Salman Shah & Anjan V. Thakor, 2004. "Private versus Public Ownership: Investment, Ownership Distribution, and Optimality," Finance 0411026, EconWPA.
    46. Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar, 2005. "Does Legal Enforcement Affect Financial Transactions? The Contractual Channel in Private Equity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 223-246, January.
    47. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 1991. "The Effects of Board Composition and Direct Incentives on Firm Performance," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 20(4), Winter.
    48. Lerner, Josh, 1995. " Venture Capitalists and the Oversight of Private Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 301-18, March.
    49. Arnoud W A Boot & Anjan V Thakor, 1992. "Security Design," CEPR Financial Markets Paper 0020, European Science Foundation Network in Financial Markets, c/o C.E.P.R, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ..
    50. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
    51. Klasa, Sandy, 2007. "Why Do Controlling Families of Public Firms Sell Their Remaining Ownership Stake?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(02), pages 339-367, June.
    52. Mello, Antonio S. & Parsons, John E., 1998. "Going public and the ownership structure of the firm," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 79-109, July.
    53. Benninga, Simon & Helmantel, Mark & Sarig, Oded, 2005. "The timing of initial public offerings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 115-132, January.
    54. Demsetz, Harold & Lehn, Kenneth, 1985. "The Structure of Corporate Ownership: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1155-77, December.
    55. Lubos Pástor & Pietro Veronesi, 2005. "Rational IPO Waves," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(4), pages 1713-1757, 08.
    56. Doidge, Craig, 2004. "U.S. cross-listings and the private benefits of control: evidence from dual-class firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 519-553, June.
    57. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    58. Black, Bernard S. & Gilson, Ronald J., 1998. "Venture capital and the structure of capital markets: banks versus stock markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 243-277, March.
    59. Ralph A. Walkling & Michael S. Long, 1984. "Agency Theory, Managerial Welfare, and Takeover Bid Resistance," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(1), pages 54-68, Spring.
    60. AfDB AfDB, . "AfDB Group Annual Report 2006," Annual Report, African Development Bank, number 62 edited by Koua Louis Kouakou.
    61. Viral V. Acharya & Julian Franks & Henri Servaes, 2007. "Private Equity: Boom and Bust?," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 19(4), pages 44-53.
    62. Laura Casares Field & Jonathan M. Karpoff, 2002. "Takeover Defenses of IPO Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 1857-1889, October.
    63. James S. Ang & Rebel A. Cole & James Wuh Lin, 2000. "Agency Costs and Ownership Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 81-106, 02.
    64. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
    65. Harvey James, 1999. "Owner as Manager, Extended Horizons and the Family Firm," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 41-55.
    66. Richard J. Rosen & Scott B. Smart & Chad J. Zutter, 2005. "Why do firms go public? evidence from the banking industry," Working Paper Series WP-05-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfinin:v:18:y:2009:i:3:p:362-383. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.