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The impact of private equity on firms' innovation activity

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  • Amess, Kevin
  • Stiebale, Joel
  • Wright, Mike

Abstract

The paper analyses the impact of private equity (PE) backed leveraged buyouts (LBOs) on innovation output (patenting). Using a sample of 407 UK deals we find that LBOs have a positive causal effect on patent stock and quality-adjusted patent stock. Our results imply a 6% increase in quality-adjusted patent stock three years after the deal. The increase in innovation activity is concentrated among private-to-private transactions with a 14% increase in the quality-adjusted patent stock. Further analysis supports the argument that PE firms facilitate the relaxation of financial constraints. We also rule out alternative explanations for portfolio firms' higher patenting activity. Our findings suggest that PE firms do not promote short-term cost-cutting at the expense of entrepreneurial investment opportunities with a long-term payoff.

Suggested Citation

  • Amess, Kevin & Stiebale, Joel & Wright, Mike, 2015. "The impact of private equity on firms' innovation activity," DICE Discussion Papers 184, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:184
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    Cited by:

    1. Bonnet, Céline & Schain, Jan Philip, 2017. "An empirical analysis of mergers: Efficiency gains and impact on consumer prices," DICE Discussion Papers 244, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    2. repec:eee:reveco:v:53:y:2018:i:c:p:39-56 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    private equity; leveraged buyout; entrepreneurial buyouts; innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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