PRIVATE EQUITY INVESTORS AND FAMILY FIRMS: THE ROLE OF EXIT INTENTIONS AND CONFLICTS

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Stefan Prigge ORCID logo, Felix Thiele, Sven Busse

DOI:10.22495/cocv15i2art4

Abstract

This study examines private equity minority investors’ exit from family firms and its consequences for owner families. The authors theoretically discuss potential conflicts that might influence the exit decision, alternative exit routes, and the intentions of the family owners to exit the business along with the private equity investors. Subsequently, the theoretical insights were tested empirically using a case-based research approach. Four private equity firms provided data on 14 cases of completed minority private equity investments from Germany. Semi-structured interviews with investment managers offered further information regarding the analysed cases. Empirical findings reveal that conflicts of interest over the exit of private equity minority investors only rarely arise. Moreover, differences between planned and applied exit routes are mainly caused by changes in the economic situation of the company and/or in the conditions of financial markets and are related to changes in family owners’ exit intentions.

Keywords: Family-Owned Businesses, Private Equity Investors, Minority Investments, Exit Routes, Owner-Owner Conflicts

Received: 07.11.2017

Accepted: 28.12.2017

JEL Classification: G23, G32, G3

How to cite this paper: Thiele, F., Busse, S., & Prigge, S. (2018). Private equity investors and family firms: The role of exit intentions and conflicts. Corporate Ownership & Control, 15(2), 44-58. http://doi.org/10.22495/cocv15i2art4