|Up a level|
We compare fees charged by investment banks for conducting IPOs in the U.S. and Europe. In recent years the “7% solution”, as documented by Chen and Ritter (2000), has become even more prevalent in the U.S., and is now the norm for IPOs raising up to $250m. The same banks dominate both markets but European IPO fees are roughly three percentage points lower, are much more variable, and have been falling. We review explanations for the gap in spreads and find the evidence consistent with strategic pricing. U.S. issuers could have saved over $1bn a year by paying European fees.
We investigate stock return and trading volume reactions to analyst recommendation changes issued by local and foreign analysts for international stocks from 40 countries cross-listed in the U.S. We find that recommendation changes by analysts based in the U.S. lead to significantly higher abnormal returns and lower abnormal volumes in the home market of the cross-listed firm, compared to changes made by local analysts. Our results are strengthened by an identification strategy that relies on analysts who move locations. We do not find evidence that the U.S.-location premium to analyst recommendations can be explained by a bonding or certification role of U.S. analysts or differences in broker or analyst characteristics. Our findings suggest that U.S. analysts facilitate U.S. investors’ access to investments in the foreign firm’s home market. U.S. analysts seem to improve the information environment and stock return responsiveness of cross-listed firms, in particular for firms from developed countries where the local analyst advantage is smaller.
Private equity funds pay particular attention to capital structure when executing leveraged buyouts, creating an interesting setting for examining capital structure theories. Using a large, detailed, international sample of buyouts from 1980-2008, we find that buyout leverage is unrelated to the cross-sectional factors – suggested by traditional capital structure theories – that drive public firm leverage. Instead, variation in economy-wide credit conditions is the main determinant of leverage in buyouts, while having little impact on public firms. Higher deal leverage is associated with higher transaction prices and lower buyout fund returns, suggesting that acquirers overpay when access to credit is easier.
Previous analyses of the wage/profit relationship at a disaggregative level in Britain have given positive results for pre-war years but negative results for early post-war years. However, this is probably due to the increasingly unreliable nature of the enterprise- based profits series published in the National Accounts until 1982. We have constructed, instead, what are essentially establishment-based Census data on profits for fourteen manufacturing industries, up to 1986. We have also been able to extend the disaggregative unemployment data, the publication of which also ceased in 1982. The wage equations that we have estimated include profits and unemployment (and other variables) in an explicit Nash bargaining model, in line with widely held views as to the way that wage negotiations are actually conducted. The results obtained show a highly significant role for profits, as well as having other implications, notably the positive (hysteresis) effect of industry unemployment, by contrast with the normal negative effect of aggregate unemployment, and the important effects of relative wages - which play a large role in various disaggregative studies of the propagation of inflation.
This paper examines the impact of a major change in dividend taxation introduced in the United Kingdom in July 1997. The reform was structured in such a way that the immediate impact fell almost entirely on the largest investor class in the United Kingdom, namely pension funds. We find significant changes in the valuation of dividend income after the reform, in particular for high-yielding companies. These results provide strong support for the hypothesis that taxation affects the valua- tion of companies, and that pension funds were the effective marginal investors for high-yielding companies
This paper considers the claim that explicit profit sharing reduces the marginal cost of labour This is contrasted with the view that implicit profit sharing occurs through wage bargaining Using a microeconomic data set from the UK we find no evidence that the introduction of profit sharing reduces base wages and hence the marginal cost of labour However firm profitability is found to have a positive effect on wages which supports the hypothesis of implicit profit sharing through wage bargaining These findings suggest that it is hard to justify the favourable tax treatment of profit related pay found in the UK
This paper presents new evidence that international investors are compensated for bearing currency risk. We present a new three-factor international capital asset pricing model, comprising a global equity factor denominated in local currencies, and two currency factors, dollar and carry. The model is able to explain a wide cross-section of equity returns from 46 developed and emerging countries from 1976 to the present, is also useful at explaining the risks of international mutual funds and hedge funds, and outperforms standard models proposed in the international asset pricing literature. We rationalize our findings with a simple model of endogenous exchange rate risk in complete markets, and identify the importance of correctly identifying the dynamics of quantities and market prices of risk.
The main aims of this paper are, first, to construct a consistent comparative set of data on the sources of finance for investment over the period 1970--89 for Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States and second, to challenge some conventional views of the international differences in financing patterns. The paper documents the substantial problems of international comparisons, and argues that net sources and using data based on National Income Accounts provide the most appropriate and consistent information. We conclude that there is no `market-based' Anglo-US pattern of financing of industry. Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States are internally financed with small or negative contributions from market sources. Japan has been more externally financed with both banks and markets contributing larger shares than in the former group. Over the 1980s, the period of financial liberalization, all countries, except Japan, have become more internally and less market financed.
The aims of this paper are, first, to construct a consistent comparative set of data on the sources of finance for investment over the period 1970–94 for the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and Japan, and, second, to challenge conventional views of the international differences in financing patterns. We find that there is little evidence to support the view that Germany is a “bank-financed” system nor that the United Kingdom or the United States are “market financed”. Whilst bank finance is more important in Japan, there has been a steady decline in the proportion of investment financed by banks over the last 25 years.
The credit crunch was most likely viewed as a mixed blessing by many private equity executives. On the one hand, it signalled the end of the most favourable set of economic conditions the private equity industry had ever witnessed: abundant capital, low interest rates, increasing stock market values and a truly amazing willingness amongst banks and other investors to provide debt financing on a scale and on terms never previously observed. But the clouds that have descended since August 2007 have at least one silver lining: the intense public scrutiny of the private equity industry has been, to some extent, diverted into other areas of the financial system, in particular the investment banks, rating agencies, imploding hedge funds and structured vehicles etc. During this crisis, private equity funds have attracted little attention, except for their activities in taking advantage of banks 19 desire to sell debt backing private equity deals. But the private equity industry remains active, having attracted large amounts of committed capital, and is continuing to invest 13 albeit not in the headline grabbing purchases of large public companies. And public scrutiny is redeveloping.
This paper provides an updated survey of a burgeoning literature on testing, estimation and model specification in the presence of integrated variables. Integrated variables are a specific class of non-stationary variables which seem to characterise faithfully the properties of many macroeconomic time series. The analysis of cointegration develops out of the existence of unit roots and offers a generic route to test the validity of the equilibrium predictions of economic theories. Special emphasis is put on the empirical researcher's point of view.
Assessing investment performance for private equity is inherently difficult due in large part to the nature of illiquid assets. Compounding this problem, investors and researchers alike are bedeviled by the existing lack of comprehensive, high-quality data. The current state of affairs obscures answers to basic practical questions, leads to lack of standardization, and creates confusion.
This paper examines measurements of “top quartile” performance, a status widely prized in the industry, especially in light of past research showing return persistence by funds raised by the same general partner. Using three popular data sources and applying metrics typically adopted in the industry, the authors demonstrate that even modest variations in methods can result in half of all funds being able to claim “top quartile” results. Sources of variation include methods of categorizing funds, definitions of vintage year, choice of the data source, specification of performance metrics, and treatment of geography and currencies.
The introduction of competition into utilities is currently being pursued in the many countries, including the UK. Competition can take various forms, such as competition for outputs, inputs, franchises, and outright takeovers. Attention is currently focused on output competition, whereby customers are being given a choice of final supplier in many industries. We consider the implications of the introduction of such competition, including the effects on industrial structure and contracts, cross-subsidies and distributional concerns, and uncertainty and stranded contracts. We also analyse the transitional problems encountered as competition is introduced and suggest that the UK regulators and government have, in some key respects, failed to define a clear and consistent policy.
Until recently, the periodic assessment of a company's cost of capital presented few problems to the company's finance director. However, the cost of equity capital, an important component of a company's overall cost of capital, can now be a more complex problem. Some of the most important techniques for computing the cost of equity capital are reviewed and the equity risk premium is discussed in some detail.
When a firm makes an initial public offering (IPO) of it equity, the accuracy with which its shares are priced will be an important factor determining the cost of "going public." In the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan IPOs are systematically priced at a discount relative to their subsequent trading price. In the United States and the United Kingdom such discounts are, in average, around 10 percent and 7 percent, respectively, in normal trading conditions. In contrast, the average Japanese IPO rose in price by nearly 55 percent after one week. Existing theories seem unable to explain this persistent underpricing of IPOs across countries.
This paper considers the arguments for and against private‐sector financing—as opposed to operational management—of public services. Under certain conditions the costs of public and private finance will be similar, but these conditions are unlikely to hold for many public services. Using examples from the UK, we show how decisions to introduce private financing are often political, with little economic rationale.
This clinical paper analyses a new way of conducting IPOs which has recently been introduced in the U.K. The essential feature of Accelerated IPOs (aIPOs) is that investors form syndicates to bid for the entire offering, and then execute an immediate IPO (within a week). Vendors can use an auction to determine whether the valuation is higher in private equity, trade, or public equity hands. aIPOs address two problems that regulators and academics have associated with conventional IPOs conducted via bookbuilding: inaccurate valuation and questionable use of discretion over allocation. Conflicts of interest are avoided as the advisors who organise aIPOs work for the investors rather than the issuing company.
The real interest rate and the equity risk premium are critical economic parameters that influence a wide range of economic decisions. This paper considers the problems involved in estimating expected real interest rates and the equity risk premium, and hence the overall cost of capital. Using UK data, it suggests reasons why estimates based on historical returns may be misleading, and discusses alternative approaches to estimating the cost of capital.
Private equity’s high degree of leverage in the boom years leading up to the recent bust is a dominant factor in that market’s current precarious state. Valuations have fallen precipitously and are likely to fall farther, with some firms going into default. But many firms will prove robust, and those firms with cash available should be able to find excellent bargains in 2009 and 2010.
The merits of investing in private versus public equity have generated considerable debate, often fueled by concerns about data quality. In this paper, we use cash flow data derived from the holdings of almost 300 institutional investors to study over 1,800 North American buyout and venture capital funds. Buyout fund returns have consistently exceeded those from public markets; averaging about 3% to 4% annually. We find similar performance results for a sample of almost 300 European buyout funds. Venture capital performance has varied substantially over time. North American venture funds from the 1990s substantially outperformed public equities; those from the early 2000s have underperformed; and recent vintage years have seen a modest rebound. The variation in venture performance is significantly linked to capital flows: performance is lower for funds started when there are large aggregate inflows of capital to the sector. We also examine the variation in performance of funds started in the same year. We find marked differences between venture and buyout leading to a much more pronounced impact of accessing high performing funds in venture investing.
This paper uses evidence from a dataset of 27 European IPOs to analyse how investors bid and the factors that influence their allocations. We have the complete books for these deals - amounting to 5540 bids - and so can analyse directly how bids and allocations are related. All these deals are private sector IPOs where the bookrunner was a leading European investment bank. We make use of a unique ranking of investor quality, associated with the likelihood of flipping the IPO, as produced by a group of US and European investment banks. We find that "high quality" investors are consistently favoured in allocation and in out-turn profits. We also find that bids submitted via the bookrunner and large bids received better pro-rata allocations and higher average profits. We find that a very small proportion of all bids submitted during the bookbuilding contain price limits - especially in hot IPOs - and, in contrast to Cornelli and Goldreich (2001), we do not find that that such bids are favoured in terms of allocation.
Addressing some of the underlying economics and the empirical evidence on bookbuilding.
This article uses clinical evidence to show how the German system of corporate control and governance is both more active and more hostile than has previously been suggested. It provides a complete breakdown of ownership and takeover defence patterns in German listed companies and finds highly fragmented (but not dispersed) ownership in non-majority controlled firms. We document how the accumulation of hostile stakes can be used to gain control of target companies given these ownership patterns. The article also suggests an important role for banks in helping predators accumulate, and avoid the disclosure of, large stakes.
A significant recent development has been the extension of market processes to activities which were previously provided by the public sector. A central feature of newly privatised markets is the emergence of widespread forms of contracting. Explicit contracting is used where in the past transactions had taken place internally within a public enterprise of a government department. The design of efficient forms of contracting has been an essential component of the development of new markets and quasi-markets such as those in defence and health. This paper examines evidence of the structure of contracts and the extent to which they contribute to or detract from the efficient operation of markets, discusses the role of contracts in some newly emerging markets, and evaluates contracts in utilities where regulation rather than competition policy is widespread.
Unlike in the U.S., the initial price range for European IPOs is seldom revised, although issues are often priced at the upper bound. We develop a model that explains this seemingly inefficient pricing behavior. As in Europe, but not in the U.S., underwriters in the model obtain information from investors before establishing the indicative price range. A commitment to stay within the range is necessary to extract private information from investors. Ours is therefore the first treatment in which the bookbuilding range has a clear economic role. The model has important implications for empirical research based on European primary market data.
As the regulation of public companies has tightened, many companies have switched to stock exchanges with lower regulatory requirements. We analyse the consequences for smaller quoted companies of switching between the two London markets, which differ in their regulatory regimes. Firms that switch to lighter regulation experience, on average, negative announcement returns of approximately 5%. However there is a longer-term upward drift in stock returns after the switch. We relate these financial returns to improvements in operating performance in the years following the switch, suggesting that for some companies, and their investors, a lighter regulatory environment may be appropriate.
How and when to exit portfolio company investments are critical choices facing private equity funds. In this paper we analyze 1,022 European private equity exits, using information on fund and portfolio company characteristics, and on conditions in capital markets. For over 43% of the exits, private equity funds sold to each other and we analyze why such secondary buyouts have gained in popularity relative to IPOs and sales to corporate acquirers. We find that the exit route depends on various portfolio company characteristics, and that conditions in the debt and equity markets have a strong influence on exit choice. The existing literature has tended to portray the IPO is the “preferred” exit route. However, our analysis suggests this is mistaken: private equity funds take advantage of ‘windows of opportunity’, and the exit route that maximizes value varies with market conditions.
Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have raised around $22bn from investors since 2003, and comprised 20% of total funds raised in US IPOs in 2007. SPACs are interesting structures - allowing investors a risk-free option to invest in a future acquisition. However, we show that more than one-half of approved deals immediately destroy value. Investors, who can observe the market's view of the proposed deal, as well as that of the founders, should listen to the market, since the extreme incentives faced by the SPAC founders create corresponding conflicts of interest. We propose a simple, observable rule - based on market prices - which investors should heed.
Is there another technology bubble in the making? This question has exercised the media and markets since the extraordinary post-IPO performance of LinkedIn, the social network for professionals. Social-sales aggregator Groupon has recently suggested that conventional valuation methods are obsolete and this has only reinforced parallels with the anything-goes internet IPOs of the early 2000s.
We examine the costs and benefits of the global integration of initial public offering (IPO) markets associated with the diffusion of U.S. underwriting methods in the 1990s. Bookbuilding is becoming increasingly popular outside the United States and typically costs twice as much as a fixed‐price offer. However, on its own, bookbuilding only leads to lower underpricing when conducted by U.S. banks and/or targeted at U.S. investors. For most issuers, the gains associated with lower underpricing outweighed the additional costs associated with hiring U.S. banks or marketing in the United States. This suggests a quality/price trade‐off contrasting with the findings of Chen and Ritter, particularly since non‐U.S. issuers raising US$20 million–US$80 million also typically pay a 7% spread when U.S. banks and investors are involved.
We examine the costs and benefits of the global integration of IPO markets associated with the diffusion of U.S. underwriting methods in the 1990s. Bookbuilding is becoming increasingly popular outside the U.S. and typically costs twice as much as a fixed-price offer. However, on its own bookbuilding only leads to lower underpricing when conducted by U.S. banks and/or targeted at U.S. investors. For most issuers, the gains associated with lower underpricing outweighed the additional costs associated with hiring U.S. banks or marketing in the U.S. This suggests a quality/price trade-off contrasting with the findings of Chen and Ritter [Journal of Finance], particularly since non-U.S. issuers raising USS20m-80m also typically pay a 7% spread when U.S. banks and investors are involved.
This paper analyzes whether fund valuations produced by private equity managers are biased predictors of future discounted cash flows (DCF). Our research is based on an extensive set of timed cash flows and reported net asset values (NAVs) that relates to 483 funds spanning 1988-2011. Using an ex ante lens, we find that, on average, reported NAVs converge on the future DCF early in the life of the fund. This result is particularly interesting to investors for whom unbiased asset valuations are important in keeping portfolios optimally allocated. In addition, findings indicate that although NAVs generally are more conservative in the first half of our sample period, NAVs for venture capital funds tend to overstate economic value after 1999 following the bursting of the tech bubble. We also find some evidence that private equity managers of funds that perform less well use their discretion over asset valuations to keep asset values high during fundraising periods, as well as at the end of the fund life, which can result in higher management fees.