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Giants at the Gate: On the Cross-section of Private Equity Investment Returns

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  • Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio
  • Phalippou, Ludovic
  • Gottschalg, Olivier

Abstract

We examine the determinants of private equity returns using a newly constructed database of 7,500 investments worldwide over forty years. The median investment IRR (PME) is 21% (1.3), gross of fees. One in ten investments goes bankrupt, whereas one in four has an IRR above 50%. Only one in eight investments is held for less than 2 years, but such investments have the highest returns. The scale of private equity firms is a significant driver of returns: investments held at times of a high number of simultaneous investments underperform substantially. The median IRR is 36% in the lowest scale decile and 16% in the highest. Results survive robustness tests. Diseconomies of scale are linked to firm structure: independent firms, less hierarchical firms, and those with managers of similar professional backgrounds exhibit smaller diseconomies of scale.

Suggested Citation

  • Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Phalippou, Ludovic & Gottschalg, Olivier, 2010. "Giants at the Gate: On the Cross-section of Private Equity Investment Returns," MPRA Paper 28487, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:28487
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    Cited by:

    1. Cumming, Douglas & Dai, Na, 2011. "Fund size, limited attention and valuation of venture capital backed firms," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 2-15, January.
    2. Agarwal, Vikas & Nada, Vikram & Ray, Sugata, 2013. "Institutional investment and intermediation in the hedge fund industry," CFR Working Papers 13-03, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    3. Da Rin, M. & Phalippou, L., 2014. "There is Something Special About Large Investors : Evidence From a Survey of Private Equity Limited Partners," Discussion Paper 2014-016, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    4. Achleitner, Ann-Kristin & Braun, Reiner & Engel, Nico, 2011. "Value creation and pricing in buyouts: Empirical evidence from Europe and North America," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 146-161.
    5. Giot, Pierre & Hege, Ulrich & Schwienbacher, Armin, 2014. "Are novice private equity funds risk-takers? Evidence from a comparison with established funds," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 55-71.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Private Equity; investment; LBOs; Buyouts;

    JEL classification:

    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage

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