Systematising early evaluation of potential acquisition targets of PE investments : A research model for decision making influenced by information asymmetry
Sammanfattning: Acquisitions are a major part of the growth and evolution of companies within varying markets. They are conducted under various circumstances with differing aims and rationales, and for different purposes. This thesis focuses on acquisitions carried out by serial investors acting in a private equity market. These acquisitions are characterised by a highly competitive nature, where access to a large pipeline of potential targets is believed to be a key success factor. As such, deal origination and sourcing of potential targets become important factors to facilitate a high-paced deal flow. Earlier research suggests that this is well researched with regards to venture capital, but to a large extent lacking within private equity. This thesis analyses and discusses the possibility of systematising early evaluation of potential acquisition targets within private equity. The aim is to suggest a framework that may be utilised, consisting of the criteria deemed important for early evaluation. Through utilising multi criteria decision making, the framework allows for a relative importance between criteria to contribute to assessment, while fuzzy set theory allows for a degree of uncertainty to be incorporated. This thesis is conducted through data collection from a number of professionals within private equity, selected from a non-probability sample. Semi-structured interviews and a 3 pairwise comparison is utilised to allow for analysis and discussion with regards to earlier research and theory, while allowing for comparison between respondents. The results of the thesis indicate that utilising a framework for early evaluation of potential targets may be beneficial. The key dimensions to consider are financial, commercial and market capabilities. However, the criteria constituting the dimensions may be firm or industry specific.
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