Asian Review of Financial Research Vol.27 No.3 pp.457-491
The Short- and Long-Term Performance of Venture-Backed IPO Kosdaq Firms and the Roles of Venture Capitals in Korea
Key Words : Venture Capital,IPO Firm,Short- and Long-Term Performance,Certification Role,Management Support Role
It is well known that venture capitals perform the certification role that reduces the underpricing of IPO firms by alleviating the information asymmetry between insiders and public investors. However, previous Korean studies suggest that the certification role played by Korean venture capitals is not supported—in contrast to the findings of foreign studies. It is also known that venture capitals perform the management support role that accommodates the growth of venture-backed firms and enhances the value of their portfolio companies—a direction explored by few in Korea. In this study, we analyze the short- and long-term performance of IPO firms and the certification and management support roles of venture capitals in a sample of 263 venture-backed IPOs and 213 non-venture-backed IPOs in the Kosdaq market from 2002 to 2012. Specifically, abnormal returns (AR) or cumulative abnormal returns (CAR) can be affected by the early sale of venture capitals' equity stakes after IPO, so we test their roles by dividing venture-backed IPO firms into two groups: one in which equity shares are sold early and the other in which they are not sold by venture capitals after IPO. The results of previous domestic studies on these issues are not reliable due to a limited data sample problem, and the restrictions inherent in not considering important changes such as the determination method of first day opening price and the lock-up period in Korea. As early sales of venture capitals' equity stakes can negatively affect the CAR of venture-backed IPOs, and the certification and management support roles played by venture capitals, we divide venture capitals into two groups based on whether they sell their equity stakes early or not. We then test for differences in the roles between the two groups. We find that Korean venture capitals perform the certification role after controlling the variables affecting the short-term performance of IPO firms and that the role strengthens as their equity stakes in IPO firms increase, based on the regression results for first day AR and one month CAR. However, the certification role played by venture capitals is not observed among venture-backed IPO firms whose equity stakes are sold early by venture capitals after the IPO. To analyze the effect that the equity sale of Korean venture capitals has on their certification role further, we divide venture-backed IPO firms into three groups: firms in which equity shares are sold by venture capitals immediately after IPO, those in which equity shares are sold by venture capitals within a month from the second day after IPO, and those in which equity shares are not sold at all by venture capitals within a month after IPO. The regression results show that for the second group, the certification role cannot be found at the 5% significance level and for the other groups, the certification role is not statistically significant. Our analysis of the regression results on three-year buy-and-hold average returns (BAHRs) show that Korean venture capitals do not perform the management support role after controlling the variables affecting the long-term performance of IPO firms. The long-term performance of venture-backed IPO firms decreases as the equity stakes of venture capitals increase. We also test whether the early equity sales of venture capitals prompt the underperformance of venture-backed IPO firms by dividing them into three groups again. The regression results show that as venture capitals sell more their equity shares of venture-backed IPO firms immediately or within a month from the second day after IPO—their BHARs decrease. In contrast, for venture-backed IPO firms in which equity shares are not sold by venture capitals, the BHARs increase as expected, although not with statistical significance. The results suggest that it is very difficult to anticipate the management support role of Korean venture capitals because they sell their equity stakes early (137 out of 263 portfolio companies). This implies that Korean venture capitals are trying to exit as early as possible through the IPOs of their portfolio companies instead of accommodating long-term, win-win growth. Korean President Park Geun-hye's new government is concentrating its efforts on nurturing innovative small and medium-sized companies under the slogan, “Creative Economy.” Hence, the role of venture capitals as a main financing source and value creator for venture firms is more crucial than it has ever been. However, as this study shows, if the management support role is not adequately performed, venture capitals' involvement will be limited to providing funding assistance. Therefore, more research on how to develop the management support role played by Korean venture capitals is needed for “Creative Economy” to be successful. The myth that the long-term performance of venture-backed IPO firms is worse than that of non-venture-backed IPO firms in Korea must be investigated further.