Theorists argue that exit rights can mitigate hold-up problems in venture capital. Using a hand-collected data-set of venture capital contracts from Germany we show that exit rights are included more frequently in venture capital contracts when a hold-up problem associated with the venture capitalist's exit decision is likely. Examples include drag-along and tag-along rights. Additionally, we find that almost all exit rights are allocated to the venture capitalist rather than to the entrepreneur. In addition, we show that besides the basic hold-up mechanism there are other mechanisms such as ex-ante bargaining power and the degree of pledgeable income that drive the allocation of exit rights.
Venture Capital Corporate Governance Empirical Contract Theory Hold-up Exit Rights Trade-sale Rights