Strategic Alliances and Corporate Governance in Newly Public Firms: Evidence from Corporate Venture Capital
61 Pages Posted: 7 May 2008 Last revised: 18 Sep 2008
Date Written: June 2008
We examine IPOs of startups backed by corporate venture capitalists (CVCs) and the propensity of CVC parents to establish strategic alliance with these startup firms. We investigate the differences in the governance structures of venture capital (VC) backed IPO firms. A major difference in objectives between CVCs and traditional venture capitalists (TVCs) is that CVCs often invest for strategic reasons and their parent firms frequently enter into various forms of strategic business relations with their portfolio firms which persist well beyond the IPO. We argue that such strategic alliances can have a significant impact on the governance structure of CVC backed firms, both when they go public and in the following years. Using a sample of VC backed IPOs, we evaluate several hypotheses concerning a CVC's role in the corporate governance of newly public firms. We find that strategic CVC backed IPOs have weaker CEOs and a larger proportion of independent directors on their boards and compensation committees compared to a matched sample of TVC backed IPO firms. CVC backed IPO firms also have a higher frequencies of staggered boards and forced CEO turnovers. Comparing the corporate governance of IPO firms having strategic alliances with CVC parents with TVC backed IPOs with outside strategic alliances, we find strategic CVC investors have a mean ownership stake of 16.4% compared to 2.2% for outside strategic partners and the strategic CVCs hold significantly more board seats than other strategic alliance partners, both pre- and post-IPO. Finally, these two subsamples of IPO issuers have similar frequencies of takeover defenses.
Keywords: Corporate governance, Strategic alliances, Corporate venture capital, IPOs
JEL Classification: G24, G30, G34
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