In this chapter we describe the development of venture capital and new stock markets in Europe. We argue that markets for high-growth stocks offer venture capitalists a valuable exit opportunity for their investments. This allows them to re-invest their money in other start-up companies and may spur the rate of new business creation and technological innovation. The private equity market in Europe today is as large as it was just before the advent of new stock markets in 1997-1999. As such, the need for stock markets that allow private equity investors to divest their equity stakes in growth companies did not disappear. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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