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Valuing Private Equity

Author

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  • Morten Sorensen
  • Neng Wang
  • Jinqiang Yang

Abstract

We investigate whether the performance of Private Equity (PE) investments is sufficient to compensate investors (LPs) for risk, long-term illiquidity, management and incentive fees charged by the general partner (GP). We analyze the LP's portfolio-choice problem and find that management fees, carried interest and illiquidity are costly, and GPs must generate substantial alpha to compensate LPs for bearing these costs. Debt is cheap and reduces these costs, potentially explaining the high leverage of buyout transactions. Conventional interpretations of PE performance measures appear optimistic. On average, LPs may just break even, net of management fees, carry, risk, and costs of illiquidity.

Suggested Citation

  • Morten Sorensen & Neng Wang & Jinqiang Yang, 2013. "Valuing Private Equity," NBER Working Papers 19612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19612
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Buchner, Axel, 2016. "How much can lack of marketability affect private equity fund values?," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 35-45.
    2. Lan, Yingcong & Wang, Neng & Yang, Jinqiang, 2013. "The economics of hedge funds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 300-323.
    3. Buchner, Axel, 2016. "Dealing with non-normality when estimating abnormal returns and systematic risk of private equity: A closed-form solution," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 60-78.
    4. Robinson, David T. & Sensoy, Berk A., 2016. "Cyclicality, performance measurement, and cash flow liquidity in private equity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(3), pages 521-543.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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