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Separation of Ownership from Control and Acquiring Firm Performance: The Case of Family Ownership in Canada

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  • Walid Ben-Amar
  • Paul André

Abstract

This study investigates the relationship between ownership structure and acquiring firm performance. A large proportion of Canadian public companies have controlling shareholders (families) that often exercise control over voting rights while holding a small fraction of the cash flow rights. This is achieved through the concurrent use of dual class voting shares and stock pyramids. Many suggest that these ownership structures involve larger agency costs than those imposed by dispersed ownership structures and that they distort corporate decisions with respect to investment choices such as acquisitions. We find that average acquiring firm announcement period abnormal returns for our sample of 327 Canadian transactions are positive over the 1998-2002 period. Cash deals, acquisitions of unlisted targets and cross-border deals have a positive impact on value creation. Governance mechanisms (outside block-holders, unrelated directors and small board size) also have a positive influence on the acquiring firm performance. Further, the positive abnormal returns are greater for family firms. We do not find that separation of ownership and control has a negative impact on performance. These results suggest that, contrary to other jurisdictions offering poor minority shareholder protection or poor corporate governance, separation of control and ownership is not viewed as leading to value destroying mergers and acquisitions, i.e., market participants do not perceive families as using M&A to obtain private benefits at the expense of minority shareholders. We do find a non-monotonic relationship between ownership level and acquiring firm abnormal returns. Ownership of a majority of the cash flow rights has a negative impact on announcement returns. This is consistent with the view that large shareholders may undertake less risky projects as their wealth invested in the firm increases. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2006.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Business Finance & Accounting.

Volume (Year): 33 (2006-04)
Issue (Month): 3-4 ()
Pages: 517-543

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jbfnac:v:33:y:2006-04:i:3-4:p:517-543

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Cited by:
  1. Braun, Thorsten V. & Lehmann, Erik E. & Schwerdtfeger, Manuel T., 2011. "The stock market evaluation of IPO-firm takeovers," UO Working Papers 01-11, University of Augsburg, Chair of Management and Organization.
  2. Attiya Y. Javid & Robina Iqbal, 2010. "Corporate Governance in Pakistan: Corporate Valuation, Ownership and Financing," PIDE-Working Papers 2010:57, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
  3. Ben Ali Chiraz, 2009. "Disclosure and minority expropriation: A study of French listed firms," Post-Print halshs-00460161, HAL.
  4. Janto Haman & Hristos Doucouliagos & Michael Graham, 2012. "Agency Problem II and Convergence in CEO Pay," Economics Series 2012_5, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  5. Praet, Alain, 2013. "Family firms and the divestment decision: An agency perspective," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 34-41.
  6. Bjursell, Cecilia, 2011. "Cultural divergence in merging family businesses," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 69-77, June.
  7. Sumon Kumar Bhaumik & Ekta Selarka, 2008. "Impact of M&A on firm performance in India: Implications for concentration of ownership and insider entrenchment," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp907, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  8. Clay Moffett & Mohammad Naserbakht, 2013. "Stock Price Behavior of Acquirers and Targets Due to M&A Announcement in USA Banking," Iranian Economic Review, Economics faculty of Tehran university, vol. 18(1), pages 105-114, winter.
  9. Yves Bozec & Richard Bozec & Mohamed Dia, 2010. "Overall governance, firm value and deviation from one share: one vote principle," International Journal of Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 6(4), pages 305-328, September.
  10. Yen, Tze-Yu & Andre, Paul, 2007. "Ownership structure and operating performance of acquiring firms: The case of English-origin countries," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 59(5), pages 380-405.
  11. Liu, Jia & Lister, Roger & Pang, Dong, 2013. "Corporate evolution following initial public offerings in China: A life-course approach," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 1-20.
  12. Houssam Bouzgarrou & Patrick Navatte, 2013. "Ownership structure and acquirers performance: Family vs. non-family firms," Post-Print halshs-00801736, HAL.
  13. Shim, Jungwook & Okamuro, Hiroyuki, 2011. "Does ownership matter in mergers? A comparative study of the causes and consequences of mergers by family and non-family firms," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 193-203, January.
  14. Dutta, Shantanu & Jog, Vijay, 2009. "The long-term performance of acquiring firms: A re-examination of an anomaly," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1400-1412, August.
  15. Ramiz ur Rehman & Inayat Ullah Mangla, 2010. "Corporate Governance and Performance of Financial Institutions in Pakistan: A Comparison between Conventional and Islamic Banks in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 49(4), pages 461–475.
  16. Basu, Nilanjan & Dimitrova, Lora & Paeglis, Imants, 2009. "Family control and dilution in mergers," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 829-841, May.
  17. Belot, François, 2010. "Excess control rights and corporate acquisitions," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/5922, Paris Dauphine University.
  18. Din, Shahab-u- & Javid, Attiya Yasmin, 2011. "Impact of managerial ownership on financial policies and the firm’s performance: evidence Pakistani manufacturing firms," MPRA Paper 37560, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  19. Ng, Alex & Donker, Han, 2013. "Purchasing reserves and commodity market timing as takeover motives in the oil and gas industry," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 167-181.
  20. Feito-Ruiz, Isabel & Menéndez-Requejo, Susana, 2011. "Cross-border Mergers and Acquisitions in different legal environments," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 169-187, September.

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