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Barbarians inside the gates : how private equity firms create value

  • Purpose Facing increased asset prices and growing competition, private equity firms needed to innovate their established business model and shift from focusing on financial engineering to creating operating value. Yet, the authors understand little about how private equity firms increase the value of companies in their portfolios. This paper aims to shed light on organizational strategies, activities and governance principles that private equity firms use to create value. Design/methodology/approach This investigation combines several qualitative research approaches. Using in-depth interviews with executives in 35 private equity firms, the authors define industry-specific design principles for value creation using a Gioia methodology. They then use the Eisenhardt methodology to make in-depth case comparisons among sample firms. Findings Private equity firms employ one of four strategies – labeled “Infiltrator,” “Consultant,” “Organizer” or “Investor” – to create value in portfolio companies, each with a different organizational structure, level of cooperation between investor and portfolio firm and specific configuration of design elements. Originality/value To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to focus on private equity value creation strategies from an organizational perspective. To their knowledge, no other publication has tapped this deeply into the interface between the private equity firm and the portfolio company to define the exact approach taken by the firm. This study contributes to the emerging discussion around the nonfinancial inputs to value creation. In addition, this qualitative research design is underrepresented in private equity research.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Peter KrystaORCiD, Janina Jauch-Degenkolb, Dominik K. KanbachORCiD
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of Strategic Entrepreneurship
Parent Title (English):Journal of business strategy
Date of Publication (online):2022/11/15
First Page:344
Last Page:353
Year of first Publication:2022
Tag:Buyouts; Operational performance; Portfolio companies; Private equity; Strategy; Value creation
Content Focus:Academic Audience
Peer Reviewed:Yes
Rankings:AJG Ranking / 1
VHB Ranking / C
SJR Ranking / Q3
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt