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Were the Acquisitive Conglomerates Inefficient?

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  • Klein, Peter G

Abstract

This article challenges the conventional wisdom that the 1960s conglomerates were inefficient. I offer valuation results consistent with recent event-study evidence that markets typically rewarded diversifying acquisitions. Using new data, I compute industry-adjusted valuation, profitability, leverage, and investment ratios for 36 large, acquisitive conglomerates from 1966 to 1974. During the early 1970s, the conglomerates were less valuable and less profitable than stand-alone firms, favoring an agency explanation for unrelated diversification. In the 1960s, however; conglomerates were not valued at a discount. Evidence from acquisition histories suggests that conglomerate diversification may have added value by creating internal capital markets. Copyright 2001 by the RAND Corporation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (Winter)
Pages: 745-61

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Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:32:y:2001:i:4:p:745-61

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Malcolm Baker & Richard S. Ruback & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2004. "Behavioral Corporate Finance: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10863, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stefan Erdorf & Thomas Hartmann-Wendels & Nicolas Heinrichs & Michael Matz, 2012. "Corporate Diversification and Firm Value: A Survey of Recent Literature," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 03-01, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
  3. Killian J. McCarthy & G.U. Weitzel, 2009. "Theory and evidence on mergers and acquisitions by small and medium enterprises," Working Papers 09-21, Utrecht School of Economics.
  4. Martynova, Marina & Renneboog, Luc, 2008. "A century of corporate takeovers: What have we learned and where do we stand?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 2148-2177, October.
  5. Stefan Erdorf & Thomas Hartmann-Wendels & Nicolas Heinrichs & Michael Matz, 2013. "Corporate diversification and firm value: a survey of recent literature," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 187-215, June.

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