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Coinvestment and risk taking in private equity funds

Author

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  • Bienz, Carsten
  • Thorburn, Karin
  • Walz, Uwe

Abstract

Private equity fund managers are typically required to invest their own money alongside the fund. We examine how this coinvestment affects the acquisition strategy of leveraged buyout funds. In a simple model, where the investment and capital structure decisions are made simultaneously, we show that a higher coinvestment induces managers to chose less risky firms and use more leverage. We test these predictions in a unique sample of private equity investments in Norway, where the fund manager's taxable wealth is publicly available. Consistent with the model, portfolio company risk decreases and leverage ratios increase with the coinvestment fraction of the manager's wealth. Moreover, funds requiring a relatively high coinvestment tend to spread its capital over a larger number of portfolio firms, consistent with a more conservative investment policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Bienz, Carsten & Thorburn, Karin & Walz, Uwe, 2016. "Coinvestment and risk taking in private equity funds," SAFE Working Paper Series 126, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:safewp:126
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    private equity; leveraged buyouts; incentives; coinvestment; risk taking; wealth;

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • 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

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