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Convertible Securities and Venture Capital Finance

  • Schmidt, Klaus M.

This paper offers a new explanation for the prevalent use of convertible securities in venture capital finance. Convertible securities can be used to endogenously allocate cash-flow rights as a function of the state of the world and the entrepreneur’s effort. This property can be used to induce the entrepreneur and the venture capitalist to invest efficiently into the project. The result is robust to renegotiation and to changes in the timing of investments and information flows. The model is consistent with the observations that conversion is often automatic and that convertible securities are rarely used by outside investors.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 19769.

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Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Finance 3 58(2003): pp. 1139-1166
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19769
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  1. Georg Noeldeke & Klaus Schmidt, 1998. "Sequential Investments and Options to Own," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(4), pages 633-653, Winter.
  2. Thomas Hellmann, 1998. "The Allocation of Control Rights in Venture Capital Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(1), pages 57-76, Spring.
  3. Cornelli, F. & Yosha, O., 1997. "Stage Financing and the Role of Convertible Debt," Papers 23-97, Tel Aviv.
  4. Cornelli, Francesca & Yosha, Oved, 1997. "Stage Financing and the Role of Convertible Debt," CEPR Discussion Papers 1735, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Berglof, Erik, 1994. "A Control Theory of Venture Capital Finance," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 247-67, October.
  6. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
  7. Green, Richard C., 1984. "Investment incentives, debt, and warrants," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 115-136, March.
  8. 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.
  9. Rafael Repullo & Javier Suarez, 2004. "Venture Capital Finance: A Security Design Approach," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 75-108.
  10. Leslie M. Marx, 1998. "Efficient venture capital financing combining debt and equity," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 371-387.
  11. Sahlman, William A., 1990. "The structure and governance of venture-capital organizations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 473-521, October.
  12. Gorman, Michael & Sahlman, William A., 1989. "What do venture capitalists do?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 231-248, July.
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