Venture capitalists and the decision to go public

Published on Jun 1, 1994in Journal of Financial Economics
· DOI :10.1016/0304-405X(94)90035-3
Joshua Lerner4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Harvard University)
This paper examines the timing of initial public offerings and private financings by venture capitalists. Using a sample of 350 privately held venture-backed biotechnology firms between 1978 and 1992, I show that these companies go public when equity valuations are high and employ private financings when values are lower. Seasoned venture capitalists appear to be particularly proficient at taking companies public near market peaks. The results are robust to a variety of controls and alternative explanations.
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