Private Equity in a Crisis: How Do Investors Respond to Government Intervention?

Neil Kellard, Alexandros Kontonikas, Michael J. Lamla, Stefano Maiani, Geoffrey Wood

Research output: Working paperPreprint


Investor behaviour in a crisis can amplify, or ameliorate, shocks and may alter in response to government policy. To investigate, we assess whether Private Equity (PE) and Venture Capital (VC) responded to the paycheck protection program (PPP) – the primary vehicle the US Federal government employed to support SMEs during the Covid-19 pandemic. Matching large PE/VC and PPP datasets, we create a unique database that identifies 4,240 PPP loan-holding portfolio firms. We use a difference-in-difference approach and show a greater likelihood of a PE or VC buyout deal for firms with PPP loans. Smaller PE players – which earlier work suggests are vulnerable to systemic shocks - seem to have been particularly active.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages70
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2024


  • Private Equity
  • Venture Capital
  • Crisis
  • Government support


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