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Does the private equity financing improve performance in family SMEs?

Dario Salerno (Universita degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Roma, Italy)

Journal of Family Business Management

ISSN: 2043-6238

Article publication date: 3 April 2018

Issue publication date: 5 March 2019



The purpose of this paper is to explore the relation between family involvement in ownership and the performance of private equity (PE)-backed SMEs.


Using a sample of 533 European PE-backed SMEs (i.e. 107 PE-backed family SMEs and 426 PE backed non-family SMEs), the author estimate the OLS model where a firms operating performance is a function of the presence or not of family shareholders, various other firm-specific characteristics, the experience of PE investor and a dummy for the financial crisis. To control the robustness of results, the author restrict the analysis to those firms that are incorporated in one of the 15 old member states of the European Union and the author include among the independent variables the one-year lagged values of the dependent variable.


The results show that PE-backed family SMEs outperform non-family PE-backed SMEs over the post-investment period.


This paper aims to extend literature about the link between PE backing and the involvement of family in ownership, considering European countries.



Salerno, D. (2019), "Does the private equity financing improve performance in family SMEs?", Journal of Family Business Management, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 110-124.



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