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

Author

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  • Bienz, Carsten

    (Dept. of Finance and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Walz, Uwe

    (Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Lehrstuhl für Volkswirtschaftslehre, insb. Industrieökonomie, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Bienz, Carsten & Walz, Uwe, 2007. "Evolution of Decision and Control Rights in Venture Capital Contracts: An Empirical Analysis," Discussion Papers 2007/13, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhhfms:2007_013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:zbw:cfswop:wp200612 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Julia Hirsch & Uwe Walz, 2006. "Why Do Contracts Differ between VC Types? Market Segmentation versus Corporate Governance Varieties," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/12, Center for Financial Studies.
    3. Armin Schwienbacher, 2008. "Innovation and Venture Capital Exits," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(533), pages 1888-1916, November.
    4. Cheng, Cheng & Schwienbacher, Armin, 2016. "Venture capital investors and foreign listing choices of Chinese companies," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 42-67.
    5. Arcot, Sridhar, 2014. "Participating convertible preferred stock in venture capital exits," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 72-87.
    6. Armin Schwienbacher, 2008. "Venture capital investment practices in Europe and the United States," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 22(3), pages 195-217, September.
    7. Schwienbacher, Armin, 2013. "The entrepreneur's investor choice: The impact on later-stage firm development," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 528-545.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Venture capital; corporate governance; empirical contract theory; control rights; exit rights;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • 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

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