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Private Equity and Venture Capital in Europe - Stefano Caselli & Giulia Negri

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Matheus Puppe

· 74 min read



Here is a summary of the key points about private equity and venture capital in Europe covered in the book:

  • Private equity and venture capital involve providing equity financing to companies not listed on public stock exchanges. The goal is to generate returns through an eventual exit event like an IPO or acquisition.

  • Private equity firms raise funds from institutional investors like pension funds and endowments to invest in more mature companies, while venture capital firms focus on early stage startups and growth companies.

  • Major private equity strategies include expansion financing, replacement capital, turnarounds, and leveraged buyouts (LBOs). Venture capital strategies include seed, early stage, and growth financing.

  • In Europe, private equity fundraising reached €83 billion in 2015 while investment activity totaled €48 billion. Divestments generated €43 billion. The UK, France, and Germany are the largest European PE markets.

  • Key theories like agency theory help explain private equity financing structure and incentives. Portfolio theory also informs diversification strategies.

  • Legal frameworks across Europe regulate fundraising, limited partnerships, carried interest taxation, and fundraising. Harmonization has increased over time.

  • The book covers the full lifecycle of private equity and venture capital investments, from deal sourcing and due diligence to exit. Case studies of European deals are included.

In summary, the book provides a comprehensive overview of private equity and venture capital markets, investment strategies, legal frameworks, and transactions in Europe. It covers both theoretical foundations and practical aspects of the industry.

  • There are different types of financial institutions that invest in equity in the EU system, including banks, investment firms, and closed-end funds. Banks and investment firms are regulated under common EU rules but have some differences.

  • Closed-end funds are made up of a fund managed by an asset management company (AMC). They allow broader investments compared to banks and have less stringent regulation.

  • The relationship between closed-end funds and AMCs involves economic and financial links. AMCs earn revenues from management fees and carried interest from the funds they manage.

  • Vehicles for private equity finance across the EU include Fonds Communs de Placement à Risque (FCPRs) in France, Kommanditgesellschaft (KG) in Germany, commanditaire vennootschap (CV) in the Netherlands, and sociedad de capital riesgo (SCR) in Spain.

  • The US and UK differ from the EU in their common law systems and approaches to supervision and regulation. Key rules for equity investors in the US include venture capital funds, SBICs, corporate ventures, banks, and business angels. In the UK, key rules apply to venture capital funds, VCTs, merchant banks, business angels, and public institutions.

  • Taxation plays a fundamental role in private equity and venture capital. It impacts the incentives and returns for equity investors and vehicles. Differences exist across countries in the EU, US, and UK.

Here is a summary of the key points in the given text:

  • Private equity has emerged strongly from the financial crisis due to its focus on building better and more valuable businesses. Investors appreciate the attractive returns generated, companies welcome the operational expertise, and policymakers understand the role in economic recovery.

  • Private equity plays an important role in the European investment landscape. Fund managers raise capital to buy and invest in companies, adding value through operational improvements and strategic changes before selling them.

  • The industry is focused on long-term value creation and transforming businesses, not just financial engineering. Companies backed by private equity grew jobs faster during the crisis.

  • Private equity-backed companies are more resilient and invest more in R&D. The industry helps finance the economy, providing capital beyond what banks supply.

  • Challenges remain around regulation, taxation, and public perception. But the growth potential is strong given investor demand, company receptiveness, and supportive policymakers. Tailwinds will enable industry growth across Europe.

  • Private equity is a growing and important part of the financial landscape, with assets under management increasing from $870 billion in 2004 to $2.5 trillion in 2016.

  • Investors like pension funds are attracted to private equity for its potential to generate high returns, as seen in success stories like Thomas H. Lee’s investment in Snapple.

  • However, private equity remains mysterious and misunderstood. Questions remain about how buyout funds create value, their impact on stakeholders, and the returns they generate.

  • Private equity fundraising and investment has grown tremendously, but also goes through booms and busts. The reasons for these cycles are not well understood.

  • Overall, private equity is growing in prominence but is still a opaque industry that raises many unanswered questions about its operations, impact, and cyclical nature. More transparency and research is needed to better understand this important asset class.

Here is a summary of the key points about private equity and venture capital:

  • Private equity and venture capital firms provide financing to companies not listed on public stock markets. This allows companies access to capital for growth and development.

  • There are important differences between American and European approaches to funding start-ups. In the US, venture capital plays a bigger role in funding innovation and start-ups. In Europe, private equity has traditionally focused more on buyouts of established companies.

  • Private equity/venture capital has some key characteristics as an asset class - it is illiquid, high risk, and has a long time horizon to realize returns. But it also offers the potential for high returns compared to public markets.

  • Companies may want private equity financing to fund expansion, new product development, acquisitions etc. PE can provide capital as well as valuable expertise to grow the business.

  • Private equity differs from traditional corporate finance. It takes an active role in management to grow the business and improve profitability. The goal is to exit the investment through a sale or IPO in 3-7 years.

  • For entrepreneurs, PE can provide funding and expertise where other sources are limited. But they cede some control and take on more risk.

  • For investors, private equity offers portfolio diversification and potential for higher returns than public markets. But it requires long lock-up periods and is highly illiquid.

  • The private equity market has grown substantially since the 1970s, despite volatility linked to economic cycles. In 2015, global PE fundraising reached a new high of $540 billion.

  • Private equity started during the Roman Empire but became more structured in the 15th century when British institutions began funding companies to promote trade and colonial expansion.

  • Private equity involves providing capital and management expertise to companies to generate value and capital gains. Investments are typically medium or long term.

  • Modern private equity and venture capital emerged in the 1940s and have become increasingly important for company and market development.

  • There is no single worldwide definition, but private equity broadly refers to investments in the equity of non-public companies made by financial institutions.

  • Private equity creates a close relationship between investor and entrepreneur due to changes in shareholding, provision of knowledge and support, and a predefined investment timeline.

  • Four key benefits of private equity are certification (validating the company’s worth), networking, knowledge sharing, and improved financial position and credit rating.

  • Private equity investors actively participate in management but are not interested in complete control. Their goal is to eventually exit at a profit within a defined timeframe.

Here is a summary of the key points about the map of equity investment from an entrepreneur’s perspective:

  • Equity investment provides financing to support a company’s expansion or transformation, beyond just the initial start-up.

  • Firms need funding at different stages of sales development. Key drivers are investment needs, profitability, cash flow, and sales growth. These indicate the stage a firm is in and its financing needs.

  • There are six typical stages:

  1. Development - define project structure, investments in planning, negative profit and cash flow

  2. Start-up - launch operations, sales start but still negative profit and cash flow from investments

  3. Early growth - limited investments, reducing negative profit and cash flow, increasing positive sales

  4. Expansion - investments in expansion, profitability turning positive, increasing sales

  5. Mature age - limited investments, positive and increasing profit, cash flow, and sales

  6. Crisis/decline - plummeting profit, cash flow, negative sales

  • The stage impacts the investment, profit, cash flow, and sales growth drivers used to analyze a firm’s equity capital needs.

Here is a summary of the key points about private equity market activity in Europe during 2015:

  • Fundraising totaled €47.6 billion, a slight decrease from 2014 but still 70% higher than 2010-2012, indicating recovery after the financial crisis. Venture capital fundraising reached its highest level since 2008 at €5.3 billion.

  • Pension funds were the largest source of capital, contributing nearly a quarter of funds raised. Government agencies remained an important source for venture capital.

  • Buyout fundraising decreased 7% to €33.6 billion but still represented the largest share at 70% of total fundraising.

  • The UK and Ireland accounted for 47% of funds raised, followed by France/Benelux and the Nordics.

  • Investment activity increased 14% to €47.4 billion, though the number of companies invested in fell 11% to around 5000, indicating larger investments per company.

  • Venture capital investments rose 5% to €3.8 billion, led by increases in seed and later stage deals.

  • Buyout deal value increased 15% to €39.6 billion, 72% of which was for small/mid market companies.

  • Information and communications technologies and life sciences received the most venture capital. Consumer goods and services along with business and industrial products attracted the most buyout investment.

  • Divestments rose 3% to €28.6 billion. Trade sales remained the main exit route for buyouts while IPOs led exits for venture capital.

Here are the key points about the trade-off theory of capital structure:

  • Trade-off theory builds on Modigliani-Miller framework but incorporates taxes and costs of financial distress/bankruptcy.

  • Firms choose an optimal debt level by trading off the tax benefits of debt against the costs of financial distress.

  • The optimal debt level is where the marginal benefit of the tax shield equals the marginal cost of financial distress.

  • Firms with high business risk and intangible assets face high costs of financial distress and should operate with lower debt ratios.

  • Trade-off theory predicts moderate, cautious borrowing as firms balance tax benefits against costs of distress.

  • It provides an explanation for why some firms use less debt financing than others.

  • The theory has limitations in explaining observed debt ratios and capital structure choices. Other factors like agency costs and asymmetric information also play a role.

  • Overall, trade-off theory provides a useful framework for thinking about an optimal debt level but does not fully explain real-world capital structure decisions. Other theories help complement it.

Here is a summary of the key points regarding clusters of investment within private equity:

  • There are two main approaches for categorizing private equity investments: the traditional approach based on a company’s stage of development, and the firm-based approach focused more on the activities and capabilities of the investor.

  • The traditional approach links a company’s financial needs to its stage of development (e.g. early stage, expansion stage). The firm-based approach focuses more on the investor’s strategy and capabilities.

  • Investors tend to favor the traditional approach as it is a simple way to classify investments based on company characteristics. However, the firm-based approach provides more insight into the investor’s skills and investment preferences.

  • There are six main clusters of private equity investment: seed financing, startups, early-stage, expansion, buyouts, and turnaround. Each has distinct risk-return profiles, issues, and degree of investor involvement.

  • Seed and startup investing involves the highest risk but potential for high returns. Investors take an active role in the company. Expansion and buyout investing target more mature companies with lower risk. Turnaround investing focuses on distressed companies.

  • Understanding these investment clusters provides a framework for examining how private equity groups target companies at different stages and with different objectives. The specifics of venture capital versus private equity will be explored further.

Here are the key points summarizing seed financing:

  • It is used to finance the development of a new business idea or research activity before an actual product or service exists.

  • The risks are very high due to the uncertainty of R&D results and developing a successful business. Returns are impossible to calculate at this stage.

  • Equity financing is preferred over debt financing, which requires collateral that entrepreneurs cannot provide.

  • Investors provide support for R&D, business plan development, team building, and managing sudden death risk.

  • Both public and private investors provide seed financing, but private sector brings expertise in efficient management.

  • Public authorities play a leadership role in allocating seed capital where private provision is lacking.

The main goal is transforming R&D into a start-up by supporting research, protecting IP, building the team, and managing risk. Returns are highly uncertain at this stage.

  • Start-up financing transforms a business idea into an operating company by providing funds to buy equipment, inventory, facilities etc. to launch operations. The risk is high but returns can also be high.

  • Early stage financing supports a young company as it moves from start-up to making sales. Funds help cover costs before profitability. Risk remains high but investments are more concrete than at start-up stage.

  • Expansion financing allows a growing, break-even company to expand through things like more capacity, new products etc. Risk is moderate as the business model is proven.

  • Replacement financing helps mature companies with strategic decisions like listings, shareholder changes, spin-offs etc. Risk is moderate as the business is established, though governance changes bring some uncertainty.

  • The role of private equity investors evolves from very involved on start-ups to more advisory at the expansion and replacement stages when companies are more mature. Investors take an equity stake at all stages.

Here are the key points about seed financing:

  • Seed financing provides capital to develop a business idea before a company is legally formed. The funds are used to conduct research and develop a product or service concept.

  • It is an extremely high-risk investment, as there is no operating company yet. Investors need to screen many projects to find the few winners that will generate returns.

  • Industry sectors that attract seed financing include IT, pharmaceuticals, biotech, and telecommunications - areas with high growth potential but substantial research and development costs.

  • Investors take a hands-on role to nurture the project, provide expertise, and increase the odds of success. They often take a board seat or observer role.

  • The funding is provided to a special purpose vehicle, not directly to a company. If the project fails, the loss is limited to the seed investment.

  • Typical investment size is $100,000 to $500,000. Investors expect high returns, above 30% IRR, to compensate for the risk.

  • Milestone-based financing is common, with additional funding tied to meeting development targets.

  • Seed financing helps innovative ideas get off the ground when they are too risky for traditional funding sources. But the high failure rate means investors must diversify across many seed investments.

Here is a summary of the key points about the operation phases during early stage financing:

  • Different stages of a company’s development require different types of capital investment. The phases include origination, implementation, and exit strategy.

  • During the startup phase, the venture capitalist has intense interaction with the entrepreneur to assess financial and managerial support needs.

  • In the seed financing phase, the product/service is still unproven, so the venture capitalist provides limited funding to develop the business idea and feasibility plan. The risk is very high.

  • Startup financing provides capital to begin operations before the product/service is commercially validated. Risk remains high.

  • Early growth financing supports the first phase of growth as the company starts generating sales. Risk is still elevated as future performance is uncertain.

  • Investments are tailored to the strategic needs, industry dynamics, threats/opportunities, and investor goals rather than strictly classified by stage.

  • Hands-on support from the venture capitalist decreases as the company matures. More capital is provided in later stages as risks decline.

  • Overall, the investor must balance risks and potential returns across the company’s developmental stages when structuring investments and operations.

Here are the key points regarding private investor motivation and criteria when investing in early stage companies:

  • Return on investment - Venture capitalists target a minimum 30% ROI. They want high returns to compensate for the high risk.

  • Improved self-image and recognition - Successful investments boost the investor’s reputation and help with future fundraising.

  • Altruistic motives - Some investors, especially Business Angels, are motivated by a desire to help others and support causes they care about.

  • Getting in early on potentially high growth companies before an IPO. This allows for outsized returns compared to public securities.

  • Aptitude for high risk - Early stage investors have a high tolerance for risk compared to other types of investors.

  • Enjoyment of challenging projects - Some investors simply find the process of nurturing an early stage company rewarding.

  • Criteria for investment:

  • Potential for high future profitability and investment returns of 5-10x.

  • Strong management team with experience, commitment, and drive.

  • Proprietary technology or innovation that provides competitive advantages.

  • Solid financial projections and growth opportunities to surpass competition.

  • Quality of the business plan, even if just an idea at this stage.

In summary, early stage investors are attracted by the potential for high returns and intrinsic rewards of working with startups, despite the risks. They look for standout teams and innovations when selecting investment opportunities.

Here is a summary of the key points from the chapter on expansion financing:

  • Expansion financing is used to support the growth and development of established companies, usually small- or medium-sized. It has a moderate level of risk compared to earlier stages of private equity.

  • The capital from expansion financing can be used for things like increasing production capacity, entering new markets, acquiring competitors, marketing, R&D etc.

  • There are two main sub-stages of expansion financing:

  1. Second-stage financing supports accelerated growth and commercial validation after the startup phase. Less capital needed at this point.

  2. Third-stage financing consolidates market position and supports new growth plans like new products, acquisitions etc. Requires more capital.

  • Expansion financing relies less on the potential of the business idea and more on historical data about the company’s performance. Easier to value than early stage deals.

  • Investors are usually large closed funds or financial intermediaries who can support the company through a future IPO process. Their industry expertise is valuable.

  • Works best with small/medium companies with flexible production that can adapt to changes during growth. Allows small companies to exploit economies of scale.

  • Private equity investors can provide financing and advisory services to help small and medium companies pursue growth opportunities like international expansion. This “soft” support is critical as it provides access to strategic resources these companies may lack.

  • Growth through private equity can be internal (organic growth by increasing assets or working capital) or external (through mergers and acquisitions). Private equity investors play an important advisory role in M&A deals by supporting activities like due diligence, valuation, deal design, and post-acquisition integration.

  • Motivations for M&A deals financed by private equity include: strategic (e.g. expanding market share), economic (exploiting economies of scale and scope), financial (access to new investment opportunities), fiscal (tax benefits), and speculative (timing economic cycles).

  • M&As can take different forms like full mergers, equity carve-outs, divestitures, or joint ventures. Cash deals allow full change in target company governance while share deals retain some existing governance.

  • Three main reasons private equity finances external growth via M&A: (1) reinforce competitive advantages in existing activities, (2) expand advantages to related sectors, (3) explore new sectors requiring new skills.

  • Objectives include long-term value growth and short-term gains like economies of scale, increased debt capacity, and market share growth. Private equity’s advisory support is key throughout the M&A process.

Here are the key points about replacement financing in mature companies:

  • Replacement financing involves private equity investments in mature companies facing management, economic, or financial problems that are impacting their growth.

  • These deals account for over 50% of the private equity market.

  • Private equity can help replace existing shareholders or creditors who want to exit the company. This provides liquidity and new capital.

  • Replacement deals allow existing shareholders to cash out their investment. The private equity firm basically replaces the existing shareholders.

  • Private equity can bring operational expertise, strategic guidance, and governance changes to turn around struggling mature companies.

  • Replacement financing deals carry higher risk than other private equity deals, so target companies are acquired at discounted valuations.

  • Distressed replacement financing involves investing in companies in severe financial distress or bankruptcy. This is the highest risk form of replacement financing.

  • Private equity firms need to thoroughly assess the problems and turnaround potential before pursuing a replacement financing deal. The ability to create value and exit is key.

  • Companies in decline or crisis need to overhaul their strategies and structures to survive and remain competitive. This often involves sweeping changes like reengineering processes, reorganizing business units, and pursuing innovation.

  • The typical company targeted for a turnaround deal is mature and needs to renew its value proposition. Turnarounds aim to restore solvency and align capital structure through new management, modified debt, and possible new equity.

  • Turnaround deals carry four main risks: social (impacts on stakeholders), business (viability questions), financial (capital structure issues), and leadership (securing capable management).

  • Valuation is challenging with distressed assets. Multiples are less useful, so analysis focuses on liquidation value, comparables of healthy firms, and discounted cash flows.

  • Turnaround investors provide hands-on management, often installing new leadership. They need operational expertise, leadership skills, and the ability to persuade stakeholders.

  • Success depends on urgently implementing financial controls, communicating a new vision, and gaining employee support to stabilize the company before pursuing growth.

Here are the key points about the financial structure of a leveraged buyout (LBO) deal:

  • Senior debt - Provided by banks and financial institutions, has the highest priority for repayment. Typically represents 50-60% of the total financing.

  • Junior debt - Also called subordinated debt or mezzanine financing. Has a lower priority for repayment than senior debt. Represents 10-20% of total financing.

  • Equity - Provided by the private equity fund and management team acquiring the company. Represents 20-40% of total financing.

  • Asset stripping - Selling off assets of the acquired company to immediately raise cash and reduce debt.

  • Securitization - Issuing securities backed by predictable cash flows from the acquired company’s assets or operations. This generates upfront cash.

  • The high amount of debt (70-80% of total financing) is what makes it a “leveraged” buyout. This financial structure allows a small amount of equity to gain control.

  • The blend of debt and equity aims to maximize returns while minimizing risk for the private equity fund and banks providing financing.

In summary, LBOs rely heavily on leverage from senior and junior debt to fund the acquisition, supplemented by a smaller equity component from the buyout firm and management. Asset stripping and securitization can further optimize the capital structure.

Here is a summary of how debt equity ratio can impact a company’s value in an LBO deal:

  • Debt Definition: Debt refers to borrowed money that a company must repay over time, with interest. It is listed as liabilities on a company’s balance sheet.

  • Benefits of Debt: Using debt can provide tax benefits since interest payments are tax deductible. Debt can also provide leverage, allowing a company to increase returns. With borrowed money, a company can potentially generate more earnings than it could using only its equity capital.

  • Costs of Debt: Debt increases financial risk and interest expenses. Too much debt can make it difficult for a company to pay obligations. It can lead to bankruptcy if cash flow is insufficient.

  • Assessing Leverage Level: Key metrics like debt-to-equity ratio, interest coverage ratio, and debt service coverage ratio help assess if a company is taking on excessive debt. A higher debt-to-equity ratio indicates higher financial leverage and risk.

  • Impact on Company Value: Up to an optimal point, increasing debt can lower a company’s cost of capital and increase its value. But too much debt can drastically increase bankruptcy risk and lower value. An LBO substantially increases debt levels, which can generate returns through leverage but also introduces significant risk. The increased debt service requires generating sufficient cash flow to avoid distress or default. So the debt equity ratio in an LBO must be carefully assessed to balance risk and returns.

In summary, the debt-equity balance impacts company value. The high leverage of an LBO can boost returns but also risk, so the debt level must be optimized. Going beyond an optimal point can quickly make the debt detrimental and reduce value.

Here is a summary of the key points about restructuring financing:

  • Restructuring financing deals with companies facing a crisis that threatens their survival, but have not yet filed for bankruptcy.

  • The company needs financing to settle debts with banks and suppliers. The investor’s cash injection may also be used to relaunch the business by purchasing assets or redesigning the business plan.

  • The private equity investor works closely with the distressed company on restructuring and advisory, not just providing financing.

  • Restructuring often involves selling off noncore assets and business units to raise cash and focus on the core business.

  • The goal is to turn around the business and restore profitability and growth. If successful, the private equity investor can eventually sell the revived company or take it public.

  • The investor typically takes a majority or full ownership stake and plays an active role in management changes and strategic decision-making.

  • Restructuring financing is very high risk, but potential returns are also very high if the business can be turned around successfully.

  • Key factors for success include timing the investment properly in the crisis cycle, thorough due diligence, active involvement in the turnaround, and expertise in the company’s industry.

Here are the key points on banks and investment firms in the EU:

  • Banks can undertake any financial business except asset management, insurance, and nonfinancial activities. They can invest in private companies directly or through an asset management company (AMC).

  • Banks face constraints on equity investments as it affects their regulatory capital requirements. There are caps on equity investments in most EU countries, except Germany due to its “Hausbank” tradition.

  • Investment firms can only undertake specific financial activities like trading financial instruments, portfolio management, investment advice, etc. They cannot take deposits or provide loans.

  • Investment firms also face regulatory capital requirements for their equity investments.

  • The main difference is banks can do a broader range of financial activities including taking deposits/providing loans, while investment firms have a narrower scope focused on investment activities.

  • Both banks and investment firms rarely directly invest in private equity due to regulatory constraints. Closed-end funds are the main vehicle used for private equity investment in the EU.

Here are the key points about equity investments through banks and investment firms:

  • Equity investment is free for investment firms, while it is subject to caps for banks.

  • Banks can provide more comprehensive assistance and support to invested companies compared to investment firms.

  • There are no caps on the amount of equity investment holding for banks or investment firms.

  • Both banks and investment firms must allocate regulatory capital for equity investments, per Basel Framework rules.

  • Basel Framework rules make private equity financing relatively costly for banks and investment firms.

  • The required allocation of regulatory capital means the investment’s internal rate of return (IRR) must be compared and correlated to the cost of that regulatory capital.

In summary, the most common non-banking vehicles for private equity investment in Europe are closed-end funds, which have specific regulations. Banks and investment firms face more restrictions on directly making private equity investments.

Here is a summary of the key points about closed-end funds:

  • Closed-end funds have a fixed maturity and a fixed amount of money to invest. This allows them to invest in private equity, unlike open-end funds.

  • Closed-end funds are typically oriented towards institutional investors, while open-end funds target retail investors.

  • Securities of open-end funds are usually listed on stock exchanges, while closed-end funds are rarely listed.

  • Investors in open-end funds can take profits/losses at any time by selling their securities. Investors in closed-end funds receive returns at the end of the fund’s life after all investments have been exited.

  • The fixed maturity and fixed capital of closed-end funds allow them to invest in illiquid assets like private equity, while open-end funds invest mainly in liquid listed securities to allow investor exits.

Here are the key points regarding the relationship between closed-end funds and AMCs:

  • AMCs create and manage the closed-end funds. They make the investment decisions and handle the day-to-day operations.

  • The AMC’s board of directors oversees the AMC and has fiduciary duties to the investors in the closed-end funds.

  • Closed-end funds are separate legal entities from the AMCs. They hold the investments and have defined lifetimes.

  • Investors commit capital to the closed-end funds, not directly to the AMCs. Their returns come from the performance of the funds’ investments.

  • AMCs charge management fees and carried interest to the closed-end funds, which reduces returns to investors. This is the AMC’s compensation.

  • There are strict regulations on conflicts of interest between AMCs and closed-end funds, aimed at aligning incentives and protecting investors.

  • Overall, the relationship centers around AMCs creating, managing and earning returns from closed-end funds on behalf of fund investors. The AMC’s and investors’ interests are tied to the performance of the funds.

Here is a summary of the legal frameworks for private equity finance in some European countries:


  • Main vehicles are “Fonds commun de placement à risques” (FCPR), “Fonds commun de placement dans l’innovation” (FCPI), “Fonds d’investissement de proximite” (FIP), and “Societe de capital-risque” (SCR).
  • FCPR is a closed-end fund managed by approved management companies.
  • SCR are commercial companies with special tax treatment.


  • No specific legal framework, private equity can use any corporate form.
  • Limited partnership with a GmbH as general partner (GmbH & Co. KG) is most common.
  • Minimum share capital requirements apply based on legal form.


  • No specific laws, private equity treated as investment institutions under financial laws.
  • Main options are public company (NV), mutual fund (FGR), private company (BV), or limited partnership (CV).
  • Limited partnerships most common.
  • Regulated investment managers have minimum capital requirements.


  • Nonregulated (NRV) and regulated vehicles (RV) with different rules.
  • RVs have tax benefits but more regulations.

In summary, each country has different legal frameworks, but limited partnerships and closed-end fund structures are common. Minimum capital requirements apply in some countries for regulated entities. Overall, attempts to standardize regulations have not led to a unified approach yet.

Here are a few key points about venture capital funds in the US:

  • Venture capital funds (VCFs) typically take the legal form of limited partnerships (LPs). The general partner manages the fund and has unlimited liability, while the limited partners provide capital and have limited liability.

  • VCFs are unregulated investment vehicles in the US. There is no specific legal framework governing them like there is in Europe. Instead, VCFs are governed entirely by the limited partnership agreement (LPA) negotiated between the partners.

  • The LPA specifies all the terms of the VCF including fund life, management fees, carried interest, investment strategy, governance, etc. Since VCFs are unregulated, the LPA must be comprehensive.

  • Most VCFs have a fund life of 10 years. This is not required by law, but is common practice. It aligns with the timeframe for returning capital and profits to investors.

  • Investors in VCFs include pension funds, endowments, foundations, insurance companies, high net worth individuals, and others. The limited partner investors have limited liability and limited control.

  • The general partner (fund manager) has unlimited liability and makes the investment decisions. General partners are usually financial professionals with experience in private equity.

  • VCFs are a popular investment vehicle for private equity in the US because of their flexibility. The lack of regulation allows VCFs to tailor their strategy and terms to investors.

Here are some key points on rules for UK equity investors:

  • Limited partnerships (LPs) are the most common legal form for private equity funds in the UK. They provide tax transparency and limited liability for investors.

  • Venture capital trusts (VCTs) are closed-end funds listed on the London Stock Exchange that invest in early-stage companies. They provide tax relief for investors.

  • Enterprise investment schemes (EIS) allow individuals to invest directly in small UK companies while receiving tax relief.

  • Banks in the UK do not typically make direct equity investments, but provide debt financing to private equity funds.

  • Business angels are affluent individuals who invest directly in startups. They provide financing and support to early-stage companies.

  • Pension funds are major investors in UK private equity. Regulations allow them to allocate a percentage of assets to alternatives like private equity.

  • Sovereign wealth funds from abroad have become significant investors in UK private equity in recent years.

  • The UK has a well-developed private equity ecosystem with favorable regulations that attract both domestic and foreign capital. London is considered one of the top financial centers globally for private equity.

Here is a summary of the key points about the legal framework for equity investors in the United States and United Kingdom:

  • In the US, the main legal structures for equity investors are limited partnerships (LPs) and limited liability companies (LLCs). LPs are the most common structure for venture capital and private equity funds. The general partner manages the fund and has unlimited liability, while limited partners provide capital and have limited liability.

  • In the UK, the main structures are venture capital funds, structured as LPs like in the US, venture capital trusts (VCTs), merchant banks, business angels, and dedicated public institutions. VCTs allow individuals to invest in a range of companies through a trust structure and receive tax benefits.

  • The carried interest and management fee structure is similar in both countries - the general partner/fund manager receives a management fee (1-3% of assets) and a carried interest, typically 20% of profits above a hurdle rate, as their compensation. This provides an incentive alignment between the fund manager and investors.

  • Overall, while there are some differences, the legal and compensation frameworks for equity investors have many similarities between the US and UK. The LP structure and carried interest are common to incentivize fund managers to generate strong returns for their limited partner investors.

Here are a few key points on the role of taxation in private equity and venture capital:

  • Taxation plays a fundamental role in the development of private equity and venture capital, as policymakers need to address regulatory and administrative barriers and ensure coherent tax policies. This enables investors to provide continuous financing for startups, spinoffs, company growth, transitions, and buyouts.

  • Investors need to be considered in the valuation framework of investment strategies, looking at taxation and the overall country tax system in addition to just investment returns.

  • Private equity and venture capital portfolios are structured to balance risk and return from diverse assets. These structures are influenced by institutional and regulatory factors, with taxation being critical.

  • The private equity and venture capital industry is very tax sensitive. Taxation techniques and their application must be considered together.

  • Policymakers have a key role in fostering private equity and VC development by addressing barriers, ensuring coherent policies, and enabling investors to provide financing across the cycle from startups to buyouts. This creates taxable value and returns.

  • The taxation model and its implementation are both important to consider for investors, investment vehicles, and portfolio companies in structuring private equity and VC deals. Differences exist across countries.

In summary, taxation plays a fundamental role in private equity and VC, requiring policymakers to enable the industry through coherent tax policies. Tax models and structures influence investment strategies and returns, so must be analyzed at both the country and deal levels.

Here are the key points summarizing the taxation framework for private equity:

  • Taxation policies shape incentives for private equity and venture capital financing. They can be direct or indirect, affecting the supply or demand side.

  • There are different taxation techniques like participation exemption, flat tax, and transparency taxation. These affect how capital gains, earnings, and dividends are taxed.

  • Fiscal incentives for startups and R&D include carryback/carryforward of losses, temporary tax reductions, shadow cost deductions, and tax credits.

  • Thin capitalization limits and dual income tax schemes influence debt versus equity financing.

  • The main taxation players are investment vehicles, investors, and companies seeking capital. Rules differ for domestic versus foreign entities.

  • Key taxation areas are the investment vehicles, private/corporate investors, and corporations demanding private equity.

Here are the key points on corporate, withholding and personal taxation in Germany:

  • Corporate tax rate ranges from 30-33% due to a national rate of 15% and a local rate of 14-17%.

  • Participation exemption leads to 95% exclusion of dividends and capital gains for German resident companies.

  • Many aid programs available for German companies.

  • Unlimited loss carryforward and 1 year carryback.

  • Withholding tax on dividends is 26.375% unless reduced by tax treaties. Interest and royalties not subject to withholding tax.

  • Personal income tax is progressive from 14-45%. Investment income taxed at flat 25% rate plus solidarity surcharge.

  • No net wealth or net worth taxes.

Here are the key points summarizing the taxation features in selected countries:

  • Germany has a corporate tax rate of 15%. Dividends and capital gains are taxed at 25% unless reduced by tax treaties. Loss carryforwards are allowed but not carrybacks. Withholding taxes apply to dividends (15.825%), interest (0-25%) and royalties (15.825%). No net wealth tax.

  • Spain has a corporate tax rate of 25%. Dividends and capital gains are taxed at 25% unless reduced. Losses can be carried forward indefinitely but not back. Withholding taxes on dividends (19%), interest (19-24%) and royalties (24%). No net wealth tax.

  • Luxembourg has a corporate tax rate of 18-19%. Dividends and capital gains exempt under certain conditions, otherwise taxed. Tax credits available. Losses can be carried forward 17 years. No withholding taxes except 15% on dividends. No net wealth tax.

  • The Netherlands has a corporate tax rate of 20-25%. Participation exemption available. Losses carried forward 9 years and back 1 year. No withholding taxes except on dividends. Residents taxed on worldwide income.

  • The UK has a corporate tax rate of 19%. Dividends exempt under certain conditions. Loss carryforwards unlimited, carryback 1 year. No withholding taxes except 20% on interest and royalties. Income and capital gains taxed.

  • The US has federal corporate tax rates of 15-35%. Branch profits taxed at 30%. Withholding taxes of 30% on dividends, interest and royalties unless reduced. No participation exemption. Various R&D credits. Capital losses limited.

  • Differences persist in EU due to different legal systems, economic structures, and policy priorities. Efforts to harmonize tax policies have had limited success.

Here is a summary of ems and the level of country development:

  • Previous chapters showed that EVCA proposed evaluating a country’s ability to support private equity and venture capital by calculating a comprehensive score from 1 (best) to 3 (worst). The score is based on ratings of the tax environment for fund structures, fiscal incentives, tax environment for companies needing funding, tax environment for fund managers/individuals, availability of tax transparency, VAT environment, permanent establishment rules, and tax incentives for the industry, capital gains/income tax for entities/individuals, and taxation of carried interest.

  • The analysis showed European fiscal systems are not yet standardized. Fiscal policy does not uniformly support private equity/venture capital. Rather, each country’s approach satisfies different objectives.

  • There are negative relationships between taxation of individuals/entities and taxation of carried interest, and between carried interest taxation and fiscal incentives. This suggests governments tend to separate encouraging investments from tax rules for investors.

  • There are positive relationships between VAT environment and fiscal incentives, and between VAT environment and permanent establishment rules. This confirms vehicles and investors are considered separately.

  • In Italy, private equity investments can use closed-end funds or investment firms. Closed-end funds pay a 20% flat tax while investment firms pay standard tax but can benefit from participation exemptions on capital gains. Requirements include a 12-month holding period.

  • The tax profile differs across preferred vehicles used in Europe. Differences exist in whether capital gains are taxed, if other revenues/costs are tax sensitive, and whether corporate income tax applies.

Here are the key points summarizing the taxation framework for private equity and venture capital in the United States:

  • Venture capital funds are typically structured as 10-year limited partnerships (LPs) to gain tax benefits. Capital gains and dividends benefit from tax transparency.

  • Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) also benefit from tax transparency on capital gains and dividends.

  • Business angels have a more complicated tax profile. Capital gains can be tax-exempt if reinvested in qualified small business stocks (QSBS) or SBIC shares within 60 days. 50% of capital gains are tax-exempt if QSBS is held for over 5 years.

  • Individual investors pay preferential tax rates on capital gains and dividends from domestic and qualified foreign corporations, ranging from 0% to 20% based on income level.

  • Capital gains for corporations are taxed at ordinary income tax rates, ranging from 15% to 39.5%. The participation exemption principle does not apply.

  • Losses can only offset capital gains, not ordinary income, with some exceptions. Net operating losses can be carried forward up to 20 years.

  • The US does not have a patent box regime.

  • R&D tax credits are available to reduce actual expenses rather than incentivize investment. The current credit rate is around 13%.

In summary, the US system focuses on tax transparency for investment vehicles and preferential rates for individual investors rather than corporate incentives.

Here are the key points on the managerial process for private equity:

  • Private equity deals have a different evaluation system and above average risk profile compared to traditional investments, due to greater information opacity in the sectors, deal terms, and securities involved.

  • This leads to significant information and incentive problems that must be managed.

  • A structured, end-to-end managerial process is critical to properly evaluate, structure, monitor, and exit private equity investments.

  • The four key pillars of this process are:

  1. Deal sourcing and screening
  2. Deal structuring
  3. Investment monitoring and value creation
  4. Exit management
  • Deal sourcing involves finding potential investment opportunities through networks and proactive outreach. Extensive screening based on strategy fit, market dynamics, management team, etc. is needed to filter opportunities.

  • Deal structuring requires properly aligning incentives between investors and entrepreneurs through governance, economic rights, exit options, etc.

  • Active investment monitoring via board seats, reporting requirements, etc. allows investors to track progress and intervene if needed. Value creation initiatives can also boost growth.

  • Planning and managing the exit is crucial for realizing targeted returns. This may involve IPOs, sales to strategics, secondary sales, etc.

  • Executing on all four pillars in an integrated fashion is key to generating returns that compensate for the higher risks in private equity.

Here is a summary of the key points regarding the subjects involved in private equity deals:

  • There are three main types of subjects involved in private equity deals: suppliers of financial sources, private equity operators, and beneficiaries of the financial sources (i.e. companies receiving investments).

  • Suppliers of financial sources provide capital to private equity funds because they lack the expertise to analyze deals directly or cannot bear the risk. This group includes savers and other providers of capital.

  • Private equity operators are financial institutions that raise funds, identify investment opportunities, control and monitor investments. They act as intermediaries between suppliers of capital and companies receiving investments.

  • Beneficiaries are the companies that receive investments from private equity funds. They use this capital for expansion, turnarounds, or ownership changes. They accept the conditions and clauses set by the private equity operators.

  • The relationships between these groups evolve over the course of the private equity cycle: fundraising, investment, management/monitoring, and exit.

  • During fundraising, relationships are formed between suppliers of capital and private equity operators to provide investment funds.

  • In the investment and management phases, relationships form between private equity operators and companies receiving investments.

  • At exit, relationships involve suppliers of capital, private equity operators, and invested companies, as stakes are sold and funds are returned to investors.

  • Analyzing the characteristics and motivations of each player at each phase is key to understanding private equity deals.

Here is a summary of the key points regarding fundraising and investing in private equity:


  • Fundraising involves promoting a new private equity fund to potential investors with the goal of securing capital commitments. Investors are motivated by the prospect of higher returns compared to other asset classes.

  • A fund’s track record, investment team reputation, and past performance are key factors that can influence fundraising success. Metrics like IRR and money multiples help demonstrate a successful track record.

  • Fundraising can be challenging for new funds without an established track record. Strategies like partnering with an existing institution or securing an anchor investor can help attract other investors.

  • Major sources of capital include family/friends, private investors, corporate funds, mutual funds, and banks.


  • Private equity firms create value by selecting and structuring investments in private companies. Investments can take the form of acquiring equity stakes or providing debt financing.

  • Investment types include funds of funds, direct equity investments, and creating proprietary private equity funds to take controlling stakes in companies.

  • Investment strategy and value creation approaches differ based on the stage of the company invested in. Early stage ventures may require more hands-on involvement.

  • Due diligence and assessing company management are critical parts of the investment process to evaluate risks and growth potential.

  • Structuring investments via convertible securities, warrants, ratchets, and other tools can provide downside protection and upside incentives for private equity firms.

Here are the key points about the relevance of expertise and skills within the private equity managerial process:

  • Company valuation skills are important in the investing and exiting phases to select good investment targets and maximize returns when exiting.

  • Legal and fiscal skills are critical during deal structuring, closing, and exiting to balance legal/tax requirements with investor needs.

  • Governance skills are relevant throughout to manage key relationships with investors, portfolio companies, etc.

  • Promoting and reporting skills help with fundraising by communicating with potential investors.

  • People recruiting and management skills are key during investing and managing/monitoring to build strong management teams.

  • Selling skills help maximize returns when exiting through trade sales, IPOs, etc.

The expertise needed shifts based on which part of the process the private equity firm is in. But well-rounded teams skilled in multiple areas are important to handle the full investment lifecycle successfully.

An open-end fund allows investors to enter and exit the fund at any time. In contrast, a closed-end fund like a private equity fund has a fixed subscription period and term.

You’re right, an open-end fund allows investors to subscribe and redeem their shares at any time, unlike a closed-end private equity fund which has a fixed fundraising period and term. The ability for investors to enter and exit freely in an open-end fund is a key distinction from a closed-end private equity fund structure.

Here are the key points summarizing the types of venture capital organizations:

  • Business Angels - Private investors who invest their own money in high-risk, high-reward startups. They typically have deep knowledge of the sector they invest in but limited capital compared to institutional investors. They operate mostly at the seed and early stages.

  • Private pools of funds - Partnerships where several investors pool their money to jointly invest in startups. The investors are often successful entrepreneurs looking to reinvest their wealth. Investments range from $25k to $10M.

  • Corporate funds - Funds from corporations, managed by their own venture capital arms. Corporations can struggle to manage startup investments due to cultural differences and misaligned incentives.

  • Mutual investment funds - An important source of venture capital due to the large assets under management. However, they tend to focus on later stage investments with lower risk.

  • Institutional investors - Large institutions like pension funds, endowments, foundations that allocate a portion of assets to venture capital. They prefer investing through funds rather than directly.

The key distinction is between individual/angel investors who invest their own money, and institutional investors who invest other people’s money into funds. The source of funding affects the stage, size, and risk level of investments.

Here is a summary of key points about fundraising for venture capital:

  • Venture capital funds raise capital from investors to invest in startup and growth companies. Main sources of fundraising include pension funds, insurance companies, endowments, foundations, family offices, high net worth individuals.

  • Fundraising process involves identifying target investors, pre-marketing to gauge interest, structuring the fund terms, sending legal documents, holding meetings with investors, and closing with committed investors.

  • Having a strong track record of returns improves fundraising success as investors look at past performance. Local investors are important to show home country confidence.

  • Fund terms like management fees, carry structure, investment strategy, fund life are key factors investors evaluate.

  • Debt financing compliments equity funding for companies. Main types are senior debt, mezzanine debt, convertible notes. Debt provides leverage to boost returns but also brings bankruptcy risks if too high.

  • Optimal capital structure balances tax benefits of debt vs costs of financial distress. Goal is maximize enterprise value with prudent mix of debt and equity.

Here is a summary of key points about the investing phase in private equity:

  • Groups involved: venture capitalists/private equity firms and entrepreneurs/companies seeking financing. They have different interests, information, behavior, and goals.

  • Problems and risks: uncertainty, information asymmetry between the groups, nature of the company’s assets, state of target markets/financial markets. Risk is seen as companies’ “limited capacity” to raise capital.

  • Objectives: VCs focus on techniques/activities of companies asking for money. Entrepreneurs focus on getting projects financed.

  • VCs and entrepreneurs assess risk levels similarly. VCs particularly concerned with organization of funded companies and concrete project realization chances (agency risk). Entrepreneurs primarily interested in solving business risk.

  • Management capabilities matter most for VCs when projects already started. For early stage deals, financials, market, technology come first. Contract structure similar across risk levels.

  • Core activities in investing phase:

  1. Decision making - Evaluating and selecting opportunities, matching with appropriate investment vehicle. Valuation blends strategic analysis, financial analysis, and negotiation.
  2. Monitoring/value adding - Overseeing investment, assisting with strategy, recruitment, exits. Hands-on support varies based on need.
  • Objectives are to maximize return for LPs through appreciation of portfolio company value. Need balance of risk vs. return.

  • Overall, the investing phase brings together VCs and entrepreneurs with different perspectives. Success requires aligning interests through valuation, deal terms, ongoing involvement.

Here are the key elements to consider for each force in Porter’s Five Forces model:

Substitute Products or Services:

  • Are there alternative products or services that can fulfill the same need?
  • How readily can customers switch to the substitutes?
  • How price sensitive are customers?

Supplier Power:

  • How concentrated is the supplier market? Are there a few key suppliers or many?
  • How critical are the supplied products/services to the industry?
  • How differentiated are the supplied products/services?
  • Are there substitute sources readily available?

Barriers to Entry:

  • What are the absolute costs to enter the industry (e.g. investment in equipment)?
  • What are the legal or regulatory requirements to enter?
  • How much access do new entrants have to distribution channels?
  • Do existing players have cost advantages due to scale or learning effects?

Buyer Power:

  • How concentrated is the customer base? Do a few key customers account for most sales?
  • How differentiated is the product/service? Can customers find alternatives easily?
  • How much does the product/service impact customers’ costs or profits?
  • How informed are customers about prices, quality etc.? Can they easily compare offers?

So in summary, the key is to analyze the market structure and the relative power of suppliers, buyers, new entrants etc. in relation to the firms already competing in the industry. This provides insights into the overall profitability potential of the industry.

Here are the key points on targeting, liability profile, and deal making in private equity investing:

  • Targeting involves choosing the right investment vehicle - either a direct investment, a special purpose vehicle (SPV), or based on amount/percentage of shares and role of investor.

  • Liability profile considerations include debt issuance through loans or bonds, and syndication strategies to share risk and increase investment power.

  • Debt can be issued through public or private placement. Private has higher servicing costs but known pricing, while public has lower overall costs.

  • Syndicates allow pooling of resources from multiple investors, reducing risk and increasing deal sizes, though require agreement on hierarchy and terms.

  • The deal terms define rights and duties of investors and companies, through governance rules, share types, pay-out policies, etc. Effective deal making facilitates value creation while properly allocating risk and return.

Here are a few key points on the role of managerial resources in venture capital:

  • Managerial expertise is crucial for venture capital firms to identify promising investment opportunities, properly evaluate them, and provide effective oversight after investing. Experienced investment professionals are needed to conduct due diligence, analyze business plans, assess risks, and negotiate deal terms.

  • Strong leadership and strategic guidance from venture capitalists can add tremendous value to startups. Beyond just providing funding, VCs often take board seats and mentor entrepreneurs, offering advice on business strategy, marketing, operations, recruiting, etc. This hands-on involvement can greatly benefit young companies.

  • Extensive networks and industry connections of venture capitalists help startups in many ways - finding talent, recruiting advisors, securing partnerships, attracting later-stage investors, etc. Venture firms’ relationships and resources are invaluable to growing companies.

  • Specialized expertise such as in technology, healthcare, consumer products, etc. allows VCs to better understand specific industries and spot promising innovations and teams. Focused domain knowledge informs their investment selections and guidance.

  • Operational experience and scale give venture firms advantages in areas like legal, finance, HR, marketing. They have institutionalized processes for due diligence, deal flow management, portfolio support, exits. Startups benefit from this infrastructure.

In summary, the managerial resources and hands-on involvement of venture capital firms add significant value at multiple stages, from initial investment to exit. Their expertise, networks, and operational capabilities help transform startups into successful businesses.

Here are the key points on managing and monitoring a private equity deal:

  • It is critical to have a management and monitoring phase after closing a deal because the investor and the venture-backed company need to organize their relationship and commit to working together transparently to create value and achieve high returns.

  • Potential issues can arise from differing goals, strategies, and constraints between the investor and the company. The investor is managing a portfolio while the company has its own industrial, financial, and personal objectives.

  • Performance is evaluated through guidelines from industry associations that focus on internal rate of return (IRR). IRR compares cash outflows and inflows over time and multiple investments to measure the fund manager’s ability to select and deliver successful investments.

  • Key monitoring activities include regular financial reporting, board representation, governance processes, strategic planning, compensation policies, and active portfolio management.

  • The investor aims to add value through operational improvements, strategic guidance, financial oversight, governance changes, and facilitating add-on acquisitions or access to new markets.

  • Conflicts may arise from differing exit timing preferences and valuation disagreements. Strong governance and alignment of interests through incentives can mitigate issues.

  • Overall, the management phase requires extensive communication, aligned incentives, governance processes, value-add from the investor, and proactive conflict resolution to build a successful partnership.

Here are some key ways a private equity investor can protect value when managing and monitoring a portfolio company:

  • Establish clear governance and reporting structures - The investor should have board representation and the ability to monitor financials and operations through regular reporting. This provides oversight and helps align incentives between the investor and management.

  • Implement performance incentives - Management incentives like equity ownership and bonuses based on hitting targets help motivate management to maximize value. This aligns their interests with the investor’s.

  • Maintain involvement in key decisions - The investor should retain approval rights over major decisions like large capital expenditures, acquisitions/divestitures, new debt, executive hiring, etc. This prevents management from taking actions that hurt value.

  • Control use of cash and leverage - The investor should limit distributions to owners and use of excess leverage that could undermine the company’s financial strength.

  • Retain the ability to make leadership changes - The investor needs the ability to replace underperforming management if needed to improve operations and results.

  • Obtain protective contractual provisions - Things like information rights, antidilution provisions, liquidation preferences, and veto rights help the investor protect their investment.

  • Build relationships with management - Maintaining an open and collaborative relationship creates trust and helps align interests over the long run.

In summary, active governance, aligned incentives, contractual protections and balanced oversight enable private equity investors to safeguard value after making an investment. Protecting value is as important as creating value when managing a portfolio company.

  • The investment period is a temporary marriage between the investor and the venture-backed company, with each party facing different risks to avoid.

  • The investor must avoid wrong industrial decisions, lack of management commitment, divergence in timing to create value, and new shareholder conflicts.

  • The company must avoid exiting at the wrong time, lack of investor commitment, new shareholder impacts, and exiting surprises.

  • Rules like covenants and ratchets are used to reduce risks. Covenants regulate the fund, the general partner’s investing, and investment types.

  • Ratchets include lock up agreements, permitted transfer clauses, staging of investments, earn out agreements, stock options, and callable/puttable securities.

  • The key is mutual trust and patience between investor and company, supported by intelligent rules to sustain the partnership. A talented management team helps create an integrated culture.

  • Liquidity of the entrepreneur is held in an escrow account that the entrepreneur does not have access to. This ensures the private equity investor that the entrepreneur will have enough funds to buy back the stake if needed.

  • A put option allows the private equity investor to sell its stake back to the entrepreneur at a predetermined price. This can be a fixed price set in advance, a floating price based on a multiple of EBITDA, or a floating price with a minimum floor price.

  • The put option strike price can be calculated as: (EBITDA multiple * EBITDA - Net financial position) / Shares held

  • The main risk for the private equity investor is that the entrepreneur may not have enough liquidity to pay the strike price if the put option is exercised. So analytical models need to be used to assess the feasibility of the agreed conditions.

  • An example shows how liquidity can be managed and how IRR can be calculated based on the strike price the investor will receive if the put option is used. Key factors are the strike price, EBITDA, and availability of funds in the escrow account.

Here are the key points on exiting from a private equity investment:

  • Exit strategy should consider investment rules, company life cycle stage, financial markets, capital requirements, fund constraints, and past exits.

  • Main causes of exit failure are lower company valuation, lack of IPO/acquisition interest, lack of management cooperation, poor company performance, and negative due diligence findings.

  • Two main investor approaches are path sketcher (no exit planning) and opportunistic (exit timed based on company growth and market conditions).

  • Proactive investors have a detailed exit plan while reactive investors exit when opportunities arise unexpectedly.

  • Main exit routes are IPO, trade sale, secondary sale, and buyback. Choice depends on factors like investment size, company growth stage, economic conditions etc.

  • IPO has highest returns but also high costs and risks. Better for high growth companies.

  • Trade sale is more common and has lower costs. Acquirer takes control so less future upside.

  • Secondary sale returns shares to market. Lower costs but depends on active market and may get lower valuation.

  • Buyback good for profitable mature companies. Entrepreneur buys back shares.

In summary, a successful private equity exit requires careful planning, timing based on company stage and market conditions, selecting the optimal exit route, and balancing returns versus risks.

  • There are several typical exit strategies for private equity investors, including trade sale, buyback, sale to other private equity investors, write-off, and IPO/sale post-IPO.

  • A trade sale involves selling the stake to a corporation or industrial partner. Advantages include potentially higher premiums and easier negotiations. Disadvantages include lack of buyers and management opposition.

  • A buyback involves selling the stake back to existing shareholders or their representatives. This can occur when shareholders want to retain ownership after bringing in private equity for specific purposes.

  • Sale to other private equity investors involves selling to another private equity or venture capital fund. This allows for ongoing development as the company transitions between life cycle stages. It requires strong relationships and market conditions.

  • A write-off occurs when the investment fails and is removed from the books at a loss. This happens when there is no future profit potential.

  • An IPO exit is attractive but rare and complex, usually only after significant growth and development. The private equity investor is highly involved in managing the IPO process.

  • An IPO can be a profitable exit strategy for a private equity-backed company if market conditions are favorable and the company meets listing requirements. Advantages include selling shares at a higher valuation, satisfying management, and gaining further upside potential.

  • Disadvantages of an IPO exit include higher costs, lack of liquidity in some markets, and unsuitability for smaller companies. IPOs also involve lock-up periods that prevent investors from selling shares right away.

  • Going public brings costs like legal, accounting, and investment banking fees. It also requires more transparency and disclosure, decreasing privacy.

  • Risks of an IPO for a private equity firm include uncertainty in portfolio value, lack of diversification, and difficulty forecasting results with quarterly reporting requirements.

  • Advantages of an IPO for a private equity firm include easier fundraising, liquidity for original investors, reputational benefits, and potential to separate investment activities from other businesses.

  • For markets, private equity IPOs offer exposure to multiple companies in one security, a chance to invest in early stage companies, and participation in high growth potential.

Here are the key points summarizing the general overview of an IPO:

  • An IPO can be seen as a way to rebalance a company’s capital structure by bringing in new equity capital, or as a way to raise funds to support the company’s growth.

  • Reasons for pursuing an IPO include:

  1. Accessing a stable source of financing

  2. Raising funds to achieve growth and development goals

  3. Facilitating ownership transition for family firms

  4. Providing liquidity and exit opportunities for private equity investors

  • In the 1990s, IPOs were popular as a way for entrepreneurs to capitalize on bull markets.

  • More recently, small and medium family firms have used IPOs to take advantage of tax benefits and favorable economic conditions.

  • An IPO can allow private equity investors to exit at higher valuations than through other means, satisfy management preferences, and potentially profit from share price appreciation over time.

  • There are four main types of companies that pursue an IPO based on their life cycle stage: development companies, replacement financing companies, growing companies, and financially stressed companies.

  • Advantages of an IPO for the company include: improved access to financing, lower cost of capital, diversification of funding sources, increased financial flexibility, enhanced reputation and visibility.

  • Advantages for shareholders include: liquidity, increased share value, tax benefits, reduced personal guarantees, and ability to recapitalize without diluting control.

  • Advantages for management include: enhanced reputation, visibility, and expertise, though also increased scrutiny and performance-based compensation.

  • Disadvantages include: high costs of the IPO process, increased transparency requirements, more constraints on control, need to separate personal and corporate estates.

  • The main steps of the IPO process are: selecting advisors, performing due diligence, filing registration documents, roadshow and bookbuilding, pricing and allocation of shares, debut and aftermarket support.

Here is a summary of the key points regarding the IPO process:

  • The IPO process can be divided into two main phases: organization and execution.

  • The organization phase involves conducting a feasibility study, analyzing requirements, selecting the market, etc. Key activities include verifying formal and substantial requirements, choosing the country, market type, and market structure for the IPO.

  • The execution phase involves numerous steps like board approval, due diligence, shareholder vote, preparing documents, marketing/roadshows, pricing the shares, and starting trading.

  • Pricing the shares involves balancing the interests of various parties like existing shareholders, the company, underwriters, market makers, and new investors. The price is usually set through an initial selling offer, initial subscription offer, or a mix.

  • The underwriting syndicate plays a critical role in the execution phase. They help determine costs and the success of the IPO. Their risk level affects their roles and fees.

  • Overall, the IPO process involves thoroughly analyzing the feasibility, preparing the company, marketing the IPO, setting the price, and launching trading to transition a private company to a publicly traded one.

Here is a summary of the key elements that a business plan should contain for valuation by a private equity investor:

  • Overview of the company - Information on history, industry, competitive environment, legal structure, revenues, mission

  • Profile of entrepreneurs and shareholders - Important for understanding who controls the business

  • Market analysis - Using models like Porter’s Five Forces to assess competitiveness

  • Product/service details - Description of key offerings and innovations

  • Operating plan - Production, marketing, costs

  • Financials - Revenue forecasts, investment needs, desired debt-equity mix

  • Funding requirements - Equity, debt for working capital, capex, etc.

  • Financial structure - Debt vs equity tradeoffs regarding control and risk

The plan is usually created by the company with consultant help. The private equity investor may also assist, especially in an incubation deal. The plan allows the investor to understand the potential returns and key value drivers of the business.

Here is a summary of the key points about different stages of investment and company valuation in private equity:

  • Seed financing requires assessing the entrepreneur’s background, understanding the business idea, and identifying the target market. Valuation is very difficult and based on the realism of the business plan.

  • Start-up financing focuses on verifying market potential and demand trends. Valuation faces high uncertainty and risk, so comparison with similar deals is useful.

  • Early growth financing supports launching the initiative and consolidating research. Valuation is easier than start-up stage because the company has proven some success. Comparables are useful.

  • Expansion financing supports growth through commercial and marketing activities. Valuation relies on forecasting sales trends and terminal value.

  • Replacement financing values the company based on the deal structure (e.g. LBO). Counterparties like inheritance affect valuation.

  • Vulture financing values mature companies facing uncertainty in sales and costs. Hard to compare with other firms.

  • Valuation methods include comparables, NPV of cash flows, discounted cash flows, EBITDA multiples. Adjustments required for private firms’ lack of liquidity.

  • Financial sustainability and reliably of business plan are critical for investor’s valuation analysis. Must match financial needs with company’s value and expected returns.

Here is a summary of the key points about techniques for equity value definition in private equity and venture capital:

  • Company valuation is critical in private equity to determine the amount of investment and percentage of shares the entrepreneur will give the investor. Accurate valuation is especially important for high-risk, high-tech companies with little financial history.

  • Main techniques for equity valuation:

  1. Comparables - Compares the company to similar firms in industry, size, country.

  2. Net Present Value (NPV) - Calculates equity value as the present value of future cash flows over a defined time period.

  3. Adjusted Present Value (APV) - Similar to NPV but also accounts for capital structure/debt.

  4. Venture Capital Method - Calculates equity value as the present value of a terminal value, incorporating expected investment return and holding period.

  • Each method has pros and cons. Comparables are considered the most fundamental approach in real world private equity deals, given the limited financial history of startups.

  • Accurate business plans and financial projections are critical for valuation. Inaccuracies can lead to incorrect equity value calculations.

  • Valuation establishes the investment amount and share percentage the entrepreneur will provide the investor, which are negotiated based on the valuation.

  • The most widely used valuation approach is the net present value (NPV) or discounted cash flow (DCF) method, while the venture capital method (VCM) is used primarily for price setting and enterprise value analysis.

  • Before selecting a valuation method, factors like the company’s country, industry, data availability, and public/private status should be considered.

  • Key financial concepts are the balance sheet (assets, liabilities, equity), income statement (revenues, expenses, profit/loss), cash flow statement (cash inflows/outflows), and cost of capital.

  • Different countries have preferred valuation methods - income-based in Continental Europe, cash flow-based in the UK/US. Industry affects valuation based on capital intensity and intangibles.

  • Data availability and reliability impact the ability to use forward-looking valuation methods. Public companies allow market-based valuations while private companies may lack comparables.

Here is a summary of key points about the discounted cash flow (DCF) approach to company valuation:

  • The DCF approach involves forecasting future cash flows for a period of 5-10 years, discounting these cash flows back to present value using an appropriate discount rate, and summing them to determine the company’s value.

  • There are two main steps: determining the future cash flows and identifying the appropriate discount rate.

  • Cash flows can be unlevered (before debt payments) or levered (after debt payments). The type of cash flow determines the appropriate discount rate:

  • Unlevered cash flows should be discounted by the weighted average cost of capital (WACC), which accounts for the company’s capital structure.

  • Levered cash flows should be discounted by the cost of equity, since they represent cash flows to equity holders.

  • There are two main DCF methods:

  • Net Present Value (NPV) uses unlevered cash flows and the WACC as the discount rate. This determines the total enterprise value.

  • Adjusted Present Value (APV) uses levered cash flows and the cost of equity as the discount rate. This determines the equity value.

  • DCF results are commonly benchmarked against multiples like EV/EBITDA from comparable companies. This provides a sanity check on the valuation.

  • Overall, DCF analysis is a fundamental valuation technique that projects future cash flows based on business forecasts and discounts them to present value using risk-adjusted discount rates. It provides an estimate of intrinsic value.

Here is a summary of the Old Winery valuation case:

The Old Winery is a top Italian wine producer located in Tuscany. It was founded in the 1800s and is still family-owned and operated. The family is considering bringing in a private equity firm as a minority partner to provide capital for expansion.

Key details:

  • Annual revenue: €50 million
  • EBITDA: €12 million
  • Net income: €4 million
  • Total assets: €35 million
  • No debt

To value the company, the private equity firm uses a combination of valuation methods:

  • Comparable company analysis: Values Old Winery at €100-120 million based on EBITDA multiples of similar public wine companies

  • Discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis: Estimates equity value at €110 million based on projected free cash flows discounted at 12% cost of capital

  • Precedent transaction analysis: Values company at €90-110 million based on EBITDA multiples paid in recent transactions for similar wine companies

Given these valuations, the private equity firm offers to invest €20 million for a 20% ownership stake, valuing the entire company at €100 million. This implies an EBITDA multiple of 8.3x, which is reasonable compared to benchmarks.

The existing owners accept the offer, viewing it as a fair valuation that provides expansion capital while allowing them to retain control. Bringing in private equity allows Old Winery to pursue growth plans to boost distribution and increase product lines.

Here is a summary of the key differences between incubators and accelerators for early stage startups:


  • Provide workspace, mentoring, and connections for early stage startups, usually for 1-3 years

  • Focus on helping startups refine their business model, build their team, and achieve milestones

  • Provide some seed funding and help startups raise additional funds

  • Goal is to help startups get established and grow sustainably


  • Provide mentoring and education for startups, usually for 3-6 months

  • Focus on rapid growth through intensive mentorship and iteration

  • Provide small amounts of seed funding in exchange for equity

  • Goal is to help startups quickly validate their business model and prepare to raise investment

  • Often culminate in a “demo day” where startups pitch to investors

In summary:

  • Incubators help startups establish and grow steadily over 1-3 years

  • Accelerators rapidly advance startups over 3-6 months to get investor-ready

  • Incubators provide workspace and funding; accelerators provide intensive mentoring

  • Incubators focus on sustainability; accelerators focus on rapid iteration and growth

So while they both help early stage startups, incubators take a longer-term approach while accelerators are short, intensive programs to accelerate growth.

Here are the key points about the private equity secondary market:

  • It allows investors to sell their interests in private equity funds before the end of the fund’s term. This provides liquidity to investors.

  • Buyers in the secondary market are often institutional investors like pension funds or endowments. They buy stakes from investors looking to exit early.

  • Selling in the secondary market usually occurs at a discount to net asset value since the assets are illiquid. The discount compensates buyers for the lack of liquidity.

  • The secondary market has grown substantially in recent years, providing greater liquidity options for private equity investors.

  • Key benefits of the secondary market include: allowing early exits for investors, providing liquidity, reallocating capital to more optimal uses, and allowing buyers to access private equity exposure at discounts.

  • Challenges include: limited transparency on pricing and availability of assets, high costs, complex due diligence requirements, and information asymmetry between buyers and sellers.

In summary, the private equity secondary market facilitates liquidity and reallocation of capital, but can entail discounts, costs, and information gaps for participants. Its growth indicates an increasing desire for liquidity options in the normally illiquid private equity asset class.

Here is a summary of the key points about impact investing:

  • Impact investing refers to investments made with the intention of generating positive social and environmental impact alongside financial returns.

  • It represents a blend of financial returns and social impact. Investors intentionally seek to create social good through their investments.

  • Impact investments can target market-rate or below market-rate returns, depending on the circumstances. The priority is social impact, with financial returns being secondary.

  • Impact investing provides capital to address social and environmental issues in sectors like healthcare, education, housing, employment, and more.

  • It applies a venture capital approach of targeting young, small private companies and providing equity and hands-on support. However, the focus is on funding social innovations rather than new technologies.

  • Impact investing differs from philanthropy in that investments are expected to generate both social and financial returns, rather than just social impact.

  • Examples include Oltre Venture in Europe, which supports social enterprises in areas like work integration, education, and healthcare access.

  • Overall, impact investing aims to direct more capital to fund solutions for pressing societal challenges while also delivering financial returns for investors.

Here is a summary of key strategies and business models in the private equity industry:

  • Investment Strategies: Private equity firms pursue different investment strategies depending on their focus areas, including venture capital, growth equity, buyouts, distressed investing, mezzanine financing, infrastructure, real estate etc. They target companies at different stages and employ different value creation approaches.

  • Deal Sourcing: PE firms source deals through proprietary networks, intermediaries, corporate divestitures, distressed opportunities etc. Strong networks and proprietary deal flow is a competitive advantage.

  • Value Creation: PE firms aim to add value to their portfolio companies through financial engineering, operational improvements, add-on acquisitions, strategic changes, management changes etc. The value creation model depends on the strategy.

  • Exits: Main exit routes are trade sales, IPOs and secondary sales. Firms plan exit paths at acquisition and work towards optimal exits.

  • Fundraising: PE firms raise funds from institutional investors and manage capital across a fund sequence. Strong track record and relationships help in fundraising.

  • Economics: PE firm economics center around management fees (1-2% of assets) and carried interest (15-20% of profits). There is alignment between GP interests and LP interests.

  • LP Relationships: PE firms maintain close relationships with their LPs through governance, reporting and engagement. LP relationships are critical for fundraising and co-investments.

In summary, PE firms employ differentiated strategies based on sector/stage focus to source, acquire, add value and exit companies in order to generate returns for LPs. Their business models align interests between GPs and LPs.

  • Focus, ownership, and positioning (FOP) are three key dimensions that characterize private equity firms’ business models and strategies.

  • Focus refers to the geographic scope of investments - can be domestic, international/regional, or global. This affects scale, team, and network needs.

  • Ownership refers to who owns/sponsors the PE firm - banks, corporations, independent professionals, government, or private investors. This affects profit goals, style, strengths/weaknesses.

  • Banks-owned PE firms leverage brand and networks but may lack independence. Corporate-owned leverage industry expertise but may lack financial skills.

  • Professional-owned have expertise and independence but lack scale. Government-owned prioritize social returns over profits. Private investor-owned align with family wealth goals.

  • Positioning refers to competitive strategy - specialization by stage, sector, etc. Most aim for value creation through operational improvement and financial engineering.

  • Overall, FOP dimensions allow categorizing the diversity of PE firm business models and strategic focuses seen across countries.

Here is a summary of the key points about venture philanthropy:

  • Venture philanthropy applies principles of venture capital, like long-term investment and hands-on support, to organizations with social objectives.

  • Venture philanthropists have close, hands-on relationships with the social entrepreneurs and organizations they support. Some may take board roles.

  • Venture philanthropists use tailored financing approaches, ranging from grants to loans and equity, to best fit the organization.

  • Multi-year support is provided, typically 3-5 years, with the goal of helping the organization become self-sustaining.

  • In addition to money, venture philanthropists provide value-added services like strategic planning, marketing, coaching, HR advice, and networking.

  • The focus is on building operational capacity and long-term viability of the supported organizations.

  • Practices may be adapted locally, but venture philanthropy globally shares these key characteristics.

Here are the key points on the future perspectives and destiny of private equity and venture capital:

  • The financial crises of 2007-2009 and 2011-2013 marked a significant downturn in certain types of equity investment, like big buyouts, and prompted a rethinking of strategies and business models.

  • Future strategies will likely focus more on fundamentals, companies, and an enhancing hands-on approach rather than excessive financial engineering.

  • Value creation will rely more on industrial growth (EBITDA growth) rather than just multiples and leverage. This is especially true for seed financing and startups where EBITDA growth is key.

  • Big buyouts and mega deals will likely come back when needed for privatization, infrastructure financing, etc. But the approach will be longer-term and less finance-driven than in the past.

  • Mid-cap deals are critical for Europe and will require a mix of EBITDA growth, moderate leverage, and multiples when appropriate. More customization of approach based on company needs.

  • Internationalization is a key need for many mid-cap companies that global private equity firms can support.

  • More focus on operational value creation versus just financial engineering. Hands-on management and industry expertise will be critical.

  • New business models like venture philanthropy may gain traction for socially-driven investing. More emphasis on social impact versus just financial returns.

  • Overall the future lies in getting back to fundamentals of value creation through operational improvements, prudent use of leverage, and aligning with long-term company needs versus short-term financial optimization.

  • Private equity firms with international networks can sustain international development of venture-backed companies through technological transfer and R&D. Domestic private equity firms should cooperate with corporate banking/finance to support venture-backed companies.

  • Small and medium enterprise financing is challenging for private equity due to high costs and low profitability relative to company size. Government co-investment with guidelines and controls along with upside transfer to private investors can make small transactions viable.

  • Seed and start-up investing has high risk and requires long time horizons, large amounts of capital, and moderate return expectations, making it unattractive to private equity. Government incentives and partnerships are needed to attract private equity to these areas.

  • Venture philanthropy uses investment to meet social needs not addressed by government programs or the free market. It supports social enterprises with patient capital and skills, combining social impact and sustainability. Growth requires social entrepreneurs and responsible investors willing to accept capital preservation and high social returns.

  • The future of private equity and venture capital depends on policymaker actions regarding regulation, taxation incentives, investment promotion, public-private partnerships, and synergies between non-profit and for-profit investors. Smart policies and partnerships are needed to grasp growth opportunities.

Here are the key points summarizing hedge funds, private equity, and real estate activities:

  • Hedge funds are alternative investment vehicles that can pursue a wide range of investment strategies with the goal of generating positive returns regardless of market conditions. They are less regulated than mutual funds and pursue more complex trading strategies.

  • Private equity firms raise capital from institutional investors to acquire private companies, improve operations, and then sell them for a profit. Common private equity strategies include leveraged buyouts, growth capital, distressed investments, and venture capital.

  • Real estate activities involve acquiring, managing, developing, and selling real estate assets like office buildings, apartments, hotels, warehouses, etc. Real estate provides diversification benefits in an investment portfolio.

  • Alternative investments like hedge funds, private equity, and real estate offer the potential for higher returns compared to traditional investments, but also involve more complexity, illiquidity, risk, and higher fees.

  • Hedge funds and private equity firms are structured as partnerships between general partners who manage the funds and limited partners who provide the capital. They earn management fees and a percentage of profits (carried interest).

  • Transparency, regulation, fees, and liquidity are important considerations when evaluating hedge funds, private equity firms, and real estate investments. Their suitability depends on an investor’s goals, time horizon, risk tolerance, and access to these asset classes.

Here is a summary of the key points about corporate activity and investing:

  • Disbursement investments are funds deployed by investors into portfolio companies.

  • Disclosure documents describe potential risks of an investment opportunity.

  • Distressed debt refers to corporate bonds of bankrupt or near-bankrupt companies.

  • Diversification means spreading investments across different asset types, industries, etc. to reduce risk.

  • Dividends are cash payments made to shareholders.

  • Down rounds involve issuing shares at a lower price than previous rounds.

  • Drag-along rights allow majority shareholders to force minority shareholders to sell their stakes.

  • Due diligence is the analysis done by potential investors on an investment opportunity.

  • Equity kickers give private equity firms the option to buy shares at a discount.

  • Exit strategies are methods for private equity firms to liquidate investments and obtain returns.

  • Hurdle rates are minimum return thresholds that must be exceeded before fund managers receive increased fees.

  • IPOs are initial public offerings where a companyfirst sells or distributes stock to the public.

  • Investment firms provide capital through equity investments, loans, etc. but don’t take deposits.

Here is a summary of the key points on vestment:

  • Vestment refers to the dynamics of a private equity investment where the fund initially receives a negative return. As the first liquidations are realized, the fund returns start to rise.

  • Key employees are professional managers hired by the founder to run the company.

  • Later stage fund involves investors financing the expansion of a growing company.

  • Lead investor has the biggest stake in the deal and is in charge of managing it.

  • Leveraged buyout (LBO) is when an investor acquires a controlling stake in a company using debt and equity. The debt is repaid from the company’s cash flows.

  • Liquidity events like IPOs, buybacks, and trade sales are how VCs realize gains on their investments.

  • Management buyout (MBO) is when current management acquires a majority of the company they manage using financing from private equity.

So in summary, vestment follows a typical cycle of negative then rising returns, and involves key roles like lead investor and later stage financing. Liquidity events generate gains, and LBOs and MBOs are common types of deals.

Here are the key points from the glossary:

  • Private equity involves investing in private, non-publicly traded companies. It includes venture capital, growth capital, leveraged buyouts, and distressed investing.

  • Venture capital provides funding to startups and early stage companies with high growth potential. Venture capitalists take on high risk in hopes of high returns.

  • Leveraged buyouts involve acquiring companies using a significant amount of borrowed money. The debt is repaid through the acquired company’s cash flow or assets.

  • Distressed investing involves investing in troubled or bankrupt companies in order to turn them around.

  • Common strategies in private equity include growth capital, replacement capital, turnaround capital, and mezzanine financing.

  • Key terms also include capital call, carried interest, clawback, due diligence, general partner, hurdle rate, limited partners, management fee, preferred return, valuation, etc.

  • The glossary covers various types of securities, agreements, regulations, corporate structures, and more related to private equity.

In summary, the glossary provides definitions of the main concepts, strategies, structures, and terminology related to private equity and its various subsectors. It serves as a helpful reference guide to the key terms in this field.

Here is a summary of the key points from the references:

  • The references cover topics like venture capital, private equity, valuation, financing, banking, regulation, and startup investing.

  • They include academic journal articles, industry reports, books, and policy documents from organizations like the Bank of England, European Commission, Basel Committee, and others.

  • There is research on venture capital and private equity returns, investment activity, fundraising, exits, regulation, and economic impact.

  • Valuation methods and investment analysis techniques are discussed for startup investing, including valuation of internet/tech companies.

  • Banking issues include convergence in corporate/investment banking, bank relationships with SMEs, regulation like Basel III, and lending/financing for startups and growth companies.

  • Overall, the references provide background on research, theory, policy, and practice in startup investing, especially focused on Europe but also including global perspectives. Key themes are returns, risk, regulation, valuation, and financing for early stage ventures and growth companies.

Here is a summary of the key points from the referenced articles and book chapters:

  • Creative destruction theory explains how new innovative companies can disrupt and replace established incumbents. Companies need to continually transform to stay competitive (Foster & Kaplan, 2001).

  • Venture capital investment decision making involves assessing expected returns, risks, due diligence, and deal structure (Fried & Hisrich, 1994).

  • Financial strategy should aim to create, transfer, and protect shareholder value (Fruhan, 1979).

  • Venture capitalists consider expected returns, risks, staging of investments, and relationships when selecting and structuring investments (Gardella, 2000).

  • New venture survival depends on strategy, team, business model, and financing (Gartner, Starr & Bhat, 2000).

  • Investment banks play roles in mergers and acquisitions, underwriting securities, trading securities, and providing advisory services (Geisst, 1995).

  • Valuing biotech companies involves estimating cash flows, risks, and potential (German Association of Biotechnology Industries, 1998).

  • Private equity fund structures in Europe have evolved over time but often use a limited partnership model (Gervasoni & Sattin, 2000; Invest Europe, 1999, 2010).

  • Turnaround strategies for mature businesses can involve retrenchment, repositioning, or renewal (Hambrick & Schecter, 1983).

  • Theories of capital structure examine factors influencing financing choices like taxes, risks, signaling, and flexibility (Harris & Raviv, 1991; Hackbarth et al., 2007).

  • Venture capitalists provide value-added services to startups including coaching, monitoring, signaling credibility, and facilitating access to resources (Hellmann & Puri, 2000; Kaplan & Strömberg, 2004).

Here is a summary of the key points from the references:

  • Investment banking involves high-stakes deal making and advising on mergers, acquisitions, and capital raising. Liaw provides an overview of the business of investment banking.

  • Venture capital investing involves providing financing to startups and small companies with high growth potential. Lerner, Sahlman, Reid, and others analyze venture capital strategies, structure, governance, and performance.

  • Corporate restructuring and turnarounds are a key part of recovery for distressed companies. Slatter and others examine successful turnaround strategies.

  • Valuation and financial analysis are critical for investment decisions and corporate finance. Rappaport, Schwartz and Moon, and others discuss valuation methods for companies, especially in high-tech and internet sectors.

  • Secondary markets allow for liquidity in private equity and venture capital investments. Preqin and others discuss the growing secondary market for interests in private equity funds.

  • Various papers analyze private equity and venture capital returns, risk and performance factors, differences between the US and Europe, and comparisons to public markets.

Here is a summary of the key points from the references:

  • Th and Walter (1997) provide an overview of global banking, discussing how banks operate internationally and the challenges they face in global markets. They examine trends in global banking and the impacts of regulation, technology, competition, and other forces.

  • Stein (1989) develops a model showing how short-term pressures on managers from equity markets can cause them to make myopic decisions that are not optimal for the long-term value of firms. This “myopic corporate behavior” is driven by incentives to meet quarterly earnings targets.

  • Stewart (1991) introduces the concept of Economic Value Added (EVA), presenting it as a tool to help managers make better decisions to maximize true economic profit and shareholder value. The book serves as a guide to EVA and its implementation.

  • Storey (1991) reviews empirical evidence on the link between unemployment and new firm formation. He finds mixed results overall, with both push and pull factors affecting start-up rates, varying by time period and location.

  • Strahan and Weston (1998) examine how consolidation in the banking industry affected small business lending. They find lending by large banks involved in mergers declined, while lending by other banks increased, leaving total lending essentially unchanged.

  • Timmons and Bygrave (1992) provide an overview of the venture capital industry, arguing it was at a crossroads and needed to refocus on early stage investing. They discuss challenges facing venture capital and prescriptions for the industry.

  • Titman and Wessel (1988) empirically test determinants of capital structure choice, finding factors like uniqueness of product, industry leverage ratios, and collateral value of assets affect debt levels. Taxes did not appear to play a major role.

Here is a summary of the key points regarding due diligence, trade-off theory, and corporate funds from the passages:

Due Diligence:

  • Due diligence is an important part of the deal making and investment process, involving evaluating and validating key aspects of a potential investment (pages 187-188).
  • It aims to assess the risks and uncover any issues or problems, through activities like conducting interviews, reviewing financial statements, assessing operations, etc.
  • Thorough due diligence helps ensure the investment decision is based on accurate information.

Trade-Off Theory:

  • The trade-off theory states that there is an optimal capital structure that balances the costs and benefits of debt and equity financing (pages 20-22).
  • The optimal structure is where the marginal benefit of additional debt (tax benefits) equals the marginal cost (costs of financial distress).
  • It argues capital structure choice matters and that firms seek debt levels that maximize firm value.

Corporate Funds:

  • Corporate funds refer to pools of capital allocated by non-financial corporations for private equity investment (page 174).

  • Large corporations have increased their allocations to private equity in recent years.

  • Corporate investors accounted for around 9% of capital raised by private equity firms in 2015.

  • Corporations make direct investments as well as fund commitments to third party private equity funds.

  • Modigliani-Miller theory states that in perfect markets, a firm’s value is unaffected by how it is financed. However, this theory relies on unrealistic assumptions like no taxes, transaction costs or bankruptcy costs.

  • Trade-off theory argues there is an optimal capital structure that balances the tax benefits of debt against the bankruptcy costs. Firms trade off debt tax shields against costs of financial distress.

  • Agency theory argues that conflicts of interest between managers, shareholders and debtholders will affect financing decisions. Debt can help discipline managers to act in shareholders’ interests.

  • Overall, these theories suggest capital structure is relevant in imperfect markets due to factors like taxes, agency costs, information asymmetry and transaction costs. The optimal structure balances costs and benefits of debt and equity. Private equity tries to improve efficiency through governance, incentives and monitoring.

Here is a summary of the key points on pecking order theory:

  • Pecking order theory states that companies prioritize their sources of financing. Internal financing is used first, then debt, followed by hybrid instruments like convertible bonds, and external equity as a last resort.

  • This theory suggests that companies prefer internal financing because it is easier to obtain and there is no dilution of ownership. Debt is the next best option since interest expenses are tax deductible and it does not dilute ownership.

  • Equity is seen as less desirable because it requires the company to give up ownership and it subjects them to increased scrutiny and monitoring from new shareholders.

  • According to pecking order theory, profitable firms with limited investment opportunities and sufficient internal cash flow will use less debt financing. High-growth firms that need external funds will accumulate more debt over time.

  • The pecking order helps explain capital structure decisions and why most firms rely more heavily on internal finances and debt compared to new equity financing. It provides a model for understanding corporate financing behavior.

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