Net Asset Value Discounts in Listed Private Equity Funds

with Christoph Kaserer

Abstract: This paper investigates determinants and consequences of net asset value discounts in listed private equity funds. Listed private equity funds share characteristics of closed-end mutual funds and traditional unlisted private equity funds and can therefore offer insights into both. Our results have particular relevance to the pricing of unlisted private equity funds where no market prices are observable. We find that funds start at a zero initial premium and adapt to the long-term average of -26 % after two years. Premia can be explained by liquidity and by investor sentiment, but not by the fund’s investment degree. A decrease in premia over the first few quarters after the fund’s IPO remains unexplained, which partially supports the management ability hypothesis. Private equity fund premia also depend on systematic risk, which suggests that some information about the fund’s portfolio is not reflected in net asset values. Premia predict future stock returns, which also display seasonalities that are related to the calendar year as well as to the fund’s fiscal year.

Available at SSRN.

Latest version: July 2010