Venture Capital Investments by IPO Underwriters: Certification, Alignment of Interest or Moral Hazard?

44 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2004  

Xi Li

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST)

Ronald W. Masulis

University of New South Wales - Australian School of Business; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Financial Research Network (FIRN); National University of Singapore (NUS) - Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research (ABFER)

Date Written: December 21, 2004

Abstract

We study IPO pricing when underwriters are venture capital investors in issuers and test three hypotheses concerning the effects of underwriter share ownership on the IPO underwriting and pricing processes. We find that venture investments by underwriters significantly reduce IPO underpricing; and the result is stronger for lead underwriters. This evidence is consistent with both underwriter certification and improved underwriter alignment of interests with issuers. The fall in underpricing is substantially greater when there is greater uncertainty about IPO valuation, which further supports the underwriter certification effect. Controlling for endogeneity effects does not change our conclusions. Finally, lead underwriter venture investment in IPO issuers also reduces underwriter gross spreads. Overall, the evidence is consistent with an underwriter certification effect and to a lesser degree an underwriter-issuer alignment of interest effect and inconsistent with an IPO conflict of interest effect.

Suggested Citation

Li, Xi and Masulis, Ronald W., Venture Capital Investments by IPO Underwriters: Certification, Alignment of Interest or Moral Hazard? (December 21, 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=559105 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.559105

Xi Li

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) ( email )

Clearwater Bay
Kowloon
Hong Kong

Ronald W. Masulis (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales - Australian School of Business ( email )

Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia
612-9385-5860 (Phone)
612-9385-6347 (Fax)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Financial Research Network (FIRN)

C/- University of Queensland Business School
St Lucia, 4071 Brisbane
Queensland
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.firn.org.au

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research (ABFER) ( email )

BIZ 2 Storey 4, 04-05
1 Business Link
Singapore, 117592
Singapore

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