The 2012 BVA Essay Award for best essay about the Private Equity and Venture Capital industry went to two selected essays

Master theses "Selection criteria used by Venture Capitalists to evaluate new investment proposals" and "Relationship between shareholder-syndicates and financial debt syndication in a Leverage Buy-Out" win yearly BVA Award

Brussels, 29 March 2012 – For the 6th time the Belgian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (BVA) granted its BVA Essay Award in cooperation with Deloitte and for the first time in collaboration with CeFiP/KeFiK, the Belgian Knowledge Centre for SME Financing.

Through this award, the Belgian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (BVA) sponsored by the Belgian Knowledge Centre for SME Financing (CeFiP/KeFiK) and Deloitte, wish to stimulate the academic research into private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC). This year, the BVA Essay Award was granted to two winning essays.

The winning essay "The selection criteria used by Venture Capitalists to evaluate new investment proposals – A comparative study of Public and Private Players in Belgium" sponsored by CeFiP/KeFiK, was presented by Ms Danièle Müllender for the Master Degree in Management Sciences at the HEC-ULg Liege (Academic year 2010-2011) under the supervision of Professor Dr. Maurice Olivier.

Müllender's essay was accessible, well-written and the essay showed a good understanding of the Belgian Venture Capital community. The conclusions of her essay would be easy to implement for entrepreneurs looking for venture capital investments.

The essay focuses on the Venture Capital (VC) industry and concentrates on VC objectives, the decision-making process and selection criteria – it provides in particular a comparison between Belgian public, private and university related VCs. The results show:

The main recommendations to entrepreneurs envisaging VC funding are; to be well prepared and to get to know the knock-out criteria and the specific preferences of the different VCs.

Mr. Jens Verhiest and Mr Thomas Viaene presented the winning essay "Empiric study of the relationship between shareholder-syndicates and financial debt syndication in a Leverage Buy-Out" for the Master degree in Applied Economics at the University Gent (Year 2010-2011) and was written under the supervision of Professor Dr. Miguel Meuleman. The essay – sponsored by Deloitte – received the highest score for its academic quality and originality. This essay was considered a very useful study for investors and debt providers involved in LBO transactions.

In their literature study on LBO – the combined financing of acquisitions through Equity and Debt structures – Verhiest and Viaene analysed the relationships between shareholders- and debt-syndicates in the LBO market and focused on the way the information-asymmetry between both syndicates can be relieved. The result of their study identified the important influences of the reputation of the Private Equity investor(s), the previous experience of LBO transactions by the same parties, and the geographical and cultural distances between both syndicates, on the size of the debt-syndicates.

The BVA-jury, which consisted of one professor, a representative of CeFiP/KeFiK and five representatives of the Private Equity and Venture Capital industry, received seven essays from four universities. The rating of the Jury was based on four criteria: academic quality, originality, accessibility of the subject and usefulness of the study for the industry.

The winning essays can be consulted on the BVA website: , together with the five other essays reviewed by the BVA-jury.