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Going public - going private: The case of VC-backed firms

  • Gill, Andrej
  • Walz, Uwe
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    We investigate the decisions of listed firms to go private once again. We start by revealing that while a significant number of firms which go public is VC-backed, an overproportional share of these VC-backed firms go private later on (they stay on the exchange for an average of 8.5 years). We interpret this very robust pattern such that IPOs of VC-backed firms are to a large extent a temporary rather than a permanent feature of the corporate governance of these firms. We investigate various potential hypotheses why VCs actually seem to be able to bring marginal firms to the exchange by relating the going-private decisions to various characteristics of the IPO market as well as to VC characteristics. We find strong support for the certification ability of VCs: more experienced and reputable VCs are more able to bring marginal firms to public exchanges via an IPOs. These marginal firms backed-by more reputable and experienced VCs are more likely to go private later on. Hence, our analysis suggests that IPOs backed by experienced VCs are most likely to be a temporary rather than the final stage in the life of the portfolio firm. We find no support that reputable VCs underprice their IPO-exits more implying that they have no need to leave more money on the table to take the marginal firms public.

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    File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/57343/1/685288048.pdf
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    Paper provided by Center for Financial Studies (CFS) in its series CFS Working Paper Series with number 2012/02.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:201202
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    1. Black, Bernard S. & Gilson, Ronald J., 1998. "Venture capital and the structure of capital markets: banks versus stock markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 243-277, March.
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    4. Hamid Mehran & Stavros Peristiani, 2009. "Financial visibility and the decision to go private," Staff Reports 376, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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    9. Zingales, Luigi, 1995. "Insider Ownership and the Decision to Go Public," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 425-48, July.
    10. Douglas Cumming, 2008. "Contracts and Exits in Venture Capital Finance," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(5), pages 1947-1982, September.
    11. Giot, Pierre & Schwienbacher, Armin, 2007. "IPOs, trade sales and liquidations: Modelling venture capital exits using survival analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 679-702, March.
    12. Jeng, Leslie A. & Wells, Philippe C., 2000. "The determinants of venture capital funding: evidence across countries," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 241-289, September.
    13. Thomas J. Chemmanur & Shan He & Debarshi K. Nandy, 2010. "The Going-Public Decision and the Product Market," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(5), pages 1855-1908.
    14. Ritter, Jay R, 1984. "The "Hot Issue" Market of 1980," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(2), pages 215-40, April.
    15. Nahata, Rajarishi, 2008. "Venture capital reputation and investment performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 127-151, November.
    16. Barry, Christopher B. & Muscarella, Chris J. & Peavy, John III & Vetsuypens, Michael R., 1990. "The role of venture capital in the creation of public companies*1: Evidence from the going-public process," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 447-471, October.
    17. Lin, Timothy H. & Smith, Richard L., 1998. "Insider reputation and selling decisions: the unwinding of venture capital investments during equity IPOs," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 241-263, September.
    18. Lerner, Joshua, 1994. "Venture capitalists and the decision to go public," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 293-316, June.
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