Does Ownership Matter in Private Equity? The sources of Variance in Buyouts' Performance


Strategic Management Journal

February 2016, vol. 37, n°2, pp.330-348

Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: Corporate effects, Private equity, Variance decomposition, Multilevel analysis, Firm performance

We study the impact of ownership on firm performance in an unexplored governance context: private equity (PE) firms and the buyouts in which they invest. We employ a multiple-membership, cross-classified, multilevel model on a unique database of 6,950 buyouts realized by 255 PE firms between 1973 and 2008 in 77 countries. The results document a significant PE firm effect (4.6%), the importance of which grows as time passes. We then study three contingencies that increase the importance of the PE firm effect: (a) value addition vs. selection strategies; (b) developed vs. emerging economies; and (c) economic downturns. Our findings shed new light on the sources of variance in buyouts’ performance