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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how fixed-share prices, as a structural flaw in private equity funds targeted to small-unit investors, economically disadvantages those investors in favor of sponsors.

Design/methodology/approach - The theoretical model incorporates fixed share prices with continuous investment opportunity and evaluates the wealth transfer from long-term investors to marketing affiliates and soliciting dealers in the form of fees paid on the sale of shares to follow-on investors.

Findings - This result holds in the presence of high-payout dividend policy that attempts to compensate for wealth transfer.

Research limitations/implications - Should share prices be marked-to-market using real estate appraisals or another method, the unlisted REIT and related offerings, such as tenant-in-common funds, will be profitable for sponsors without economically disadvantaging long-term investors. Practical implications - The findings from this research are useful to fund sponsors who design real estate investment products for small-unit investors. These products may retain the advantageous characteristics of existing products while eliminating the disadvantageous features. Originality/value - This is the first academic research on private equity capital raised from small-unit investors.


Required Publisher Statement
© Emerald Insight. Final version published as: Corgel, J. B., & Gibson, S. (2008). Real estate private equity: The case of US unlisted REITs. Journal of Property Investment & Finance, 26(2), 132 - 150. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved