Private Equity

Course content

The Private Equity course is designed for students of law, economics and finance with an interest in exploring the workings of the private equity industry as well as public policiy issues related to the industry. The course prepares students for future careers in the global private equity ecosystem from venture capital to buyouts, emphasizing the interconnectedness between academic disciplines (in particular law and economics) and market and regulatory practices within this field.

The course focusses on practices rather than theories, with guest lectures from the private equity industry providing different perspectives to key issues such as value creation, risk and return, the private equity cycle, alignment of interest, governance and transparency. The course guest speakers complement lectures by instructors from the Faculty of Law and the Department of Economics. Previous guest speakers have included executives from Nordea Corporate Finance, McKinsey, SEB Enskilda, The Danish SFA, Northzone Ventures, ATKearney, EQT, Altor, Accura Law, ATP PEP, DVCA, Danske Private Equity, Axcel as well as entrepreners and CEOs of various portfolio companies.

During the initial series of lectures, students will be introduced to basic concepts in corporate finance, corporate governance and contracts by the instructors to bring students from various backgrounds up to speed. In order to provide students with opportunities for simulating actual decision making processes, one class session will be conducted off campus. Previous off campus sessions have been with BCG and Kromann Reumert Law.

The course is offered in collaboration between the Department of Economics and the Faculty of Law at the University of Copenhagen as the first joint econ/law graduate course offfered by the two programs. Econ and Law students access a common course site as the primary means of communication between lectures.

Learning outcome

- Identify the regulation of traditional private equity transactions and the relevant parties involved in these transactions and explain the major principles involved in regulating these transactions.
- Discuss the principal-agent problems relating to each stage of the private equity cycle and the contractual provisions generally adopted to mitigate these problems.
- Explain the structure of venture capital investments and buyout transactions.
- Identify the regulatory issues relating to the financing of large buyouts.
- Present the legal framework for takeovers and delisting of listed target companies.
- Critically reflect upon the functioning of the private equity market and its impact on the institutional investors on one side and the portfolio companies on the other side.
- Explain how investors are protected, by whom and the general principles involved.
- Analyse the motivation and considerations involved when a company is going public and the regulation of prospectuses in EU law and Nordic law.
- Analyse the motivation and considerations involved when a company is taken private.
- Analyse the motivation and considerations involved when a company is involved in a trade sale to a financial or industrial buyer.
- Analyse and describe the need for restrictions, incentives and monitoring at each stage of the private equity cycle.
- Describe the regulation of private equity fund managers and put the general principles behind it into perspective.
- Communicate and formulate her/his knowledge and arguments professionally and linguistically correct and in a way that is structured and coherent

The course will utilize a variety of teaching methods ranging from lectures on particular topics, to class discussions, simulated cases, and off campus company visits.

Students are expected to proactively participate in class discussions, to prepare for class sessions by reading the required literature and to develop questions and observations for guest speaker events.

One class session is devoted to exploring potential ideas for exam papers with each student expected to prepare a brief for class feedback. Students are required to upload a brief outline of their exam topic within the deadline provided.

Required reading (554 pages in total):

  • Private Equity as an Asset Class, chapters 1-8, Guy-Fraser-Sampson, Wiley Finance, 2010 (180 pages)

  • Capital Structure Stewart C. Meyers, Journal of Economic Perspectives, spring 2001 (21 pages)

  • A Survey of Corporate Governance, JG, Andrei Schleifer, Robert W. Vishny, The Journal of Finance, Vol. 52, No.2. (June 1997), pp.737-783, (46 pages)

  • Private Equity, Thomas Krüger Andersen, DJØF 2015, chapters 1-6 (235 pages)

Suggested supplementary material (approximately 142 pages in total):

  • The Economics of the Private Equity Market, George W. Fenn and Nellie Liang, Dallas FED (72 pages)

  • The Nordic Corporate Governance Model, chapters III & IV, Per Lekvall (ed.), SNS Forlag 2014 (60 pages)

  • ILPA Private Equity Principles version 2.0 pages 2-12, ILPA 2011 (10 pages)

  • Relevant legal acts. Public acts.

  • Financial news and data providers such as the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Financial Times, Bloomberg, Prequin, periodicals, academic papers, databases

Formal training at a senior bachelor level and/or master level and practical experience in corporate finance, business strategy, leadership, innovation, corporate governance and contract law would be useful.
Students should have en interest in financial markets, management, innovation, value creation, regulation and contracts seen mainly from a practical perspective.
Basic theories and concepts from finance and law will be introduced during the course to facilitate learning for students of economics and finance as well as for law students.

11 lecures by lectors and guest speekers. Appr. one month to write the project assignment.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Individual written assignment
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Seminar
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 178,25
  • English
  • 206,25