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Do Private Equity Firms Foster Innovation? Evidence from French LBOs

  • Anne-Laure Le Nadant

    (University of Caen Basse-Normandie, CREM-CNRS, UMR 6211)

  • Frédéric Perdreau

    (University of St-Etienne, COACTIS, EA 4161)

Agency theory has historically presented buyouts as a superior governance framework that generates economic efficiencies in the short term but these transactions might have a negative impact on long-term growth and innovation. In this study, we use a strategic entrepreneurship perspective to argue that private equity firm's extensive network and relationships, and expertise and competencies help managers to innovate. Using a propensity score methodology, we provide an empirical analysis of the innovative efforts of a sample of 89 French manufacturing firms that underwent a buyout between 2001 and 2005. The matching estimates (average treatment on the treated, ATT) of the effect of LBOs on firm level of innovation expenditures in 2006 show no significant differences between LBO targets and comparable companies that did not go through an LBO. In contrast, we find significant effects of LBOs on both service innovation and marketing innovations in design and packaging and product promotion. Results suggest that private equity firms provide marketing capabilities or encourage managers of LBO targets to build new innovation strategies.

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Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS in its series Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) with number 201209.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:tut:cremwp:201209
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  1. Anne-Laure Le Nadant & Frédéric Perdreau, 2006. "Financial Profile of Leveraged Buyout Targets: Some French Evidence," Post-Print halshs-00522624, HAL.
  2. Bruining, J. & Wright, D.M., 2002. "Entrepreneurial Orientation In Management Buy-Outs And The Contribution Of Venture Capital," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2002-67-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  3. Boucly, Quentin & Sraer, David & Thesmar, David, 2011. "Growth LBOs," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 432-453.
  4. Smith, Abbie J., 1990. "Corporate ownership structure and performance *1: The case of management buyouts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 143-164, September.
  5. Malone, Stewart C., 1989. "Characteristics of smaller company leveraged buyouts," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 4(5), pages 349-359, September.
  6. Lerner, Josh & Strömberg, Per & Sörensen, Morten, 2009. "Private Equity and Long-Run Investment: The Case of Innovation," SIFR Research Report Series 66, Institute for Financial Research.
  7. Zahra, Shaker A., 1995. "Corporate entrepreneurship and financial performance: The case of management leveraged buyouts," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 225-247, May.
  8. Ughetto, Elisa, 2010. "Assessing the contribution to innovation of private equity investors: A study on European buyouts," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 126-140, February.
  9. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 31-72, 02.
  10. Meuleman,M. & Amess, K. & Wright, M. & Scholes, L., 2008. "Agency, strategic entrepreneurship and the performance of private equity backed buyouts," Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series 2008-05, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.
  11. Cumming, Douglas & Siegel, Donald S. & Wright, Mike, 2007. "Private equity, leveraged buyouts and governance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 439-460, September.
  12. Frank R. Lichtenberg & Donald Siegel, 1989. "The Effects of Leveraged Buyouts on Productivity and Related Aspects of Firm Behavior," NBER Working Papers 3022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Mike Wright & Robert E. Hoskisson & Lowell W. Busenitz & Jay Dial, 2001. "Finance and management buyouts: Agency versus entrepreneurship perspectives," Venture Capital, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(3), pages 239-261, July.
  14. Wright, Mike & Thompson, Steve & Robbie, Ken, 1992. "Venture capital and management-led, leveraged buy-outs: A European perspective," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 47-71, January.
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