Valuing Private Equity Investments Strip by Strip
- Working Paper
We propose a new valuation method for private equity investments. First, we construct a cash-flow replicating portfolio for the private investment, using cash-flows on various listed equity and fixed income instruments. The second step values the replicating portfolio using a flexible asset pricing model that accurately prices the systematic risk in listed equity and fixed income instruments of different horizons. The method delivers a measure of the risk-adjusted profit earned on a PE investment, a time series for the expected return on PE fund categories, and a time series for the residual net asset value in a fund. We apply the method to real estate, infrastructure, buyout, and venture capital funds, and find modestly positive average risk-adjusted profits with substantial cross-sectional variation, and declining expected returns in the later part of the sample.