private equity

Analyzing a large sample of gross fund-level and deal-level returns in Private Equity (PE), we study systematic differences in investment skills across PE firms and what investors can learn about the true skill of PE firms from past performance. We extend the framework of Korteweg and Sorensen (2017) and establish a flexible variance decomposition model that estimates heterogeneity in returns, idiosyncratic risk-taking, and default risk. Our results show that investment skills are systematically different across PE firms with an estimated interquartile spread of returns ranging from 23% to 26% for deals and 17% to 21% for funds, relative to the market.
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This study investigates the effects of economic cycles on abnormal value creation of buyouts (BO) and on the investment activity of the corresponding Private Equity (PE) funds. We benchmark a large sample of BO transactions with closely matched public companies from 1986 to 2017. Our results show that BO transactions have created significantly more value overall, but abnormal value creation has disappeared in more recent periods. However, BO transactions are considerably less sensitive to adverse shocks in the real economy than their public counterparts.
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Understanding value creation at the transaction level is at the heart of explaining private equity (PE) returns. Taking advantage of a proprietary sample of 2,029 international buyout deals executed between 1984 and 2013 we provide detailed evidence on financial, market and operational value creation drivers. Additionally, we unravel the differences in value creation between regions, industries, transaction sizes and over time, providing limited and general partners with the opportunity to compare their past transactions with those of their respective peer groups.
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Investors increasingly look for private equity managers to provide opportunities for co-investing outside the fund structure, thereby saving fees and carried interest payments. In this paper we use a large sample of buyout and venture capital co-investments to test how such deals compare with the remaining fund investments. In contrast to Fang, Ivashina and Lerner (2015) we find no evidence of adverse selection. Gross return distributions of co-investments and other deals are similar.
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We use investment-level data to study performance persistence in venture capital (VC). Consistent with prior studies, we find that each additional initial public offering (IPO) among a VC firm’s first ten investments predicts as much as an 8% higher IPO rate on its subsequent investments, though this effect erodes with time. In exploring its sources, we document several additional facts: successful outcomes stem in large part from investing in the right places at the right times; VC firms do not persist in their ability to choose the right places and times to invest; but early success does lead to investing in later rounds and in larger syndicates.
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