Business Angel Exits: a Theory of Planned Behaviour Perspective

Although there are a handful of studies on business angel investment returns, the business angel literature has given little or no attention to exits and the exit strategy. This is surprising given that a primary objective of investing is to achieve a capital gain through some form of liquidity event. Using the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) as an interpretative heuristic, we examine how exits happen: specifically, what are the motivations to seek an exit and to what extent are they planned or opportunistic? Based on multiple case studies in which business angels were invited to tell the story of their most recent exit(s), the evidence suggests that the majority of liquidity events are the outcome of planned behaviour. We propose a typology of angel-backed investment exits as the basis for identifying future directions for research and developing practical advice to angels on effective business practices.

Authors: Tiago Botelho, Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
Richard Harrison, University of Edinburgh Management School, Edinburgh, UK
Colin Mason, Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

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