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Unlocking value: Equity carve outs as strategic real options

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  • Perotti, Enrico
  • Rossetto, Silvia

Abstract

Equity carve outs, the partial listing of a corporate subsidiary, appear to be transitory arrangements, usually dissolved within a few years by either a complete sale or a buy back. Why do firms perform expensive listings just to reverse them thereafter? We interpret carve outs as strategic options to attract information from the market over the relative value of a productive unit as an independent entity and thus to improve the decision process on whether to sell out or to retain control. The separate listing is costly, as it reduces coordination of production, but generates valuable information from the market over the optimal allocation of ownership. We compute the optimal timing for the final sale or buy back decisions, the value of the strategic options embedded in the carve out and the optimal shares retained. The model explains the temporary nature of carve outs, and suggests an explanation for many empirical findings. In particular, it explains why carve outs are more common in sectors with high uncertainty and in more informative markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Corporate Finance.

Volume (Year): 13 (2007)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 771-792

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Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:13:y:2007:i:5:p:771-792

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcorpfin

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  1. Eric A. Powers, 2003. "Deciphering the Motives for Equity Carve-Outs," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association & Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 26(1), pages 31-50.
  2. Itay Goldstein & Alexander Guembel, 2008. "Manipulation and the Allocational Role of Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 133-164.
  3. Dow, J & Rahi, R, 1997. "Informed Trading, Investment, and Welfare," Economics Working Papers eco97/03, European University Institute.
  4. Habib, Michel A. & Johnsen, D. Bruce & Naik, Narayan Y., 1997. "Spinoffs and Information," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 153-176, April.
  5. John, Kose & Ofek, Eli, 1995. "Asset sales and increase in focus," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 105-126, January.
  6. David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 1997. "The Dark Side of Internal Capital Markets: Divisional Rent-Seeking and Inefficient Investment," NBER Working Papers 5969, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1988. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Working papers 495, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Avanidhar Subrahmanyam & Sheridan Titman, 1999. "The Going-Public Decision and the Development of Financial Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 1045-1082, 06.
  9. Yuanzhi Luo, 2005. "Do Insiders Learn from Outsiders? Evidence from Mergers and Acquisitions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(4), pages 1951-1982, 08.
  10. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Firm as a Dedicated Hierarchy: A Theory of the Origin and Growth of Firms," NBER Working Papers 7546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Paul Childs & Steven Ott & Timothy Riddiough, 2001. "Valuation and Information Acquisition Policy for Claims Written on Noisy Real Assets," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 30(2), Summer.
  12. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1993. "Market Liquidity and Performance Monitoring," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 678-709, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Desai, Chintal A. & Klock, Mark S. & Mansi, Sattar A., 2011. "On the acquisition of equity carve-outs," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 3432-3449.
  2. Desai, Chintal A. & Savickas, Robert, 2010. "On the causes of volatility effects of conglomerate breakups," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 554-571, September.

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