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Keywords:

  • MBOs;
  • venture capital;
  • IPOs;
  • underpricing;
  • long-run performance

Abstract:  Using a unique dataset, we examine financial performance, and venture capital involvement in 167 MBOs exiting through IPOs (MBO-IPOs) on the London Stock Exchange, during the period 1964 –1997. VC backed MBOs seem to be more underpriced than MBOs without venture capital backing, based on average value-weighted returns. MBOs backed by highly reputable VCs tend to be older companies, and exit earlier than MBOs backed by less reputable VCs. The results contradict ‘certification’ and ‘grandstanding’ hypotheses supported by US data (Megginson and Weiss, 1991; and Gompers, 1996, respectively). We found no evidence of either significant underperformance, or that VC backed MBOs perform better than their non-VC backed counterparts in the long run. However, MBOs backed by highly reputable venture capital firms seem to be better long-term investments as compared to those backed by less prestigious venture capitalist firms. The results remain robust after using different methods to measure performance, and after controlling for sample selectivity bias.