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Private Equity Investment in India: Efficiency vs Expansion

May 2015
Working Paper
By  Troy Smith
While private equity (PE) is expanding rapidly in developing countries, there is little academic research on this subject. In this paper I exploit two new data sources and employ two distinct empirical strategies to identify the impact of PE on Indian firms. I compare the investments made by one of India’s largest PE firms to the investments that just missed (deals that made it to the final round of internal consideration). I also combine four large PE databases with accounting data on 34,000 public and private firms and identify effects using differences in the timing of investments. I find three results consistently in both databases. First, larger, more successful firms are more likely to receive PE investment. Second, firms that receive investment are more likely to survive and also have greater increases in revenues, assets, employee compensation, and profits. Third, somewhat surprisingly, these firms’ productivity and return on assets do not improve after investment. This is consistent with PE channeling funding to high productivity firms rather than turning around low productivity firms. PE, at least in India, appears to alleviate expansion constraints and improve aggregate productivity through reducing misallocation rather than by increasing within-firm TFP.