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Equity gap? - Which equity gap? On the financing structure of Germany's Mittelstand

  • Bannier, Christina E.
  • Grote, Michael H.

This paper examines the financing structure of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany and questions whether an equity gap - or, more generally, a financing gap -exists. Reviewing the literature and available data sources, we find that financing constraints seem to affect, if at all, only a very small subgroup among highly growth-oriented firms. We do not detect any structural problems in average SME's capital structure. Rather, German Mittelstand firms appear to be non-growth oriented and content with their financing decisions. While the relationship-based German banking system helps to minimize the risk of credit rationing, trade credit offers an additional, stable form of liquidity insurance. Highly innovative firms with strong growth potential, on the other hand, do seize the opportunity to tap unconventional means of financing (e.g. mezzanine capital) and appear very successful in doing so.

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Paper provided by Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in its series Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series with number 106.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fsfmwp:106
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  1. Wollersheim, Jutta & Barthel, Erich, 2008. "Kulturunterschiede bei Mergers & Acquisitions: Entwicklung eines Konzeptes zur Durchführung einer Cultural Due Diligence," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 94, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  2. Ansgar Belke & Thorsten Polleit, 2006. "How the ECB and the US Fed Set Interest Rates," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 269/2006, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
  3. Hirsch, Christian & Bannier, Christina E., 2007. "The economics of rating watchlists: evidence from rating changes," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 88, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  4. Ansgar Belke & Thorsten Polleit, 2005. "(How) Do Stock Market Returns React to Monetary Policy? - An ARDL Cointegration Analysis for Germany," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 253/2005, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
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