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Financial visibility and the decision to go private

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  • Hamid Mehran
  • Stavros Peristiani

Abstract

A large fraction of the companies that went private between 1990 and 2007 were fairly young public firms, often with the same management team making the crucial restructuring decisions both at the time of the initial public offering (IPO) and the buyout. Why did these public firms decide to revert to private ownership? To answer this question, we investigate the determinants of the decision to go private over a firm's entire public life cycle. Our evidence reveals that firms with declining growth in analyst coverage, falling institutional ownership, and low stock turnover were more likely to go private and opted to do so sooner. We argue that a primary reason behind the decision of IPO firms to abandon their public listing was a failure to attract a critical mass of financial visibility and investor interest. Consistent with the findings of earlier literature, we also find strong support for Jensen's free-cash-flow hypothesis, which argues that these corporate restructurings are a useful tool in capital markets for mitigating agency problems between insiders and outside shareholders.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 376.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:376

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Keywords: Going public (Securities) ; Corporate governance ; Corporations - Finance;

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References

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  1. Steven N. Kaplan, 1993. "The Staying Power Of Leveraged Buyouts," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 6(1), pages 15-24.
  2. Jean Helwege & Christo Pirinsky & René M. Stulz, 2007. "Why Do Firms Become Widely Held? An Analysis of the Dynamics of Corporate Ownership," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(3), pages 995-1028, 06.
  3. Asquith, Paul & Wizman, Thierry A., 1990. "Event risk, covenants, and bondholder returns in leveraged buyouts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 195-213, September.
  4. Merton, Robert C, 1987. " A Simple Model of Capital Market Equilibrium with Incomplete Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(3), pages 483-510, July.
  5. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  6. Murphy, Kevin J., 1999. "Executive compensation," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 2485-2563 Elsevier.
  7. Steven N. Kaplan & Jeremy C. Stein, 1991. "The Evolution of Buyout Pricing and Financial Structure," NBER Working Papers 3695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Steven N. Kaplan & Jeremy C. Stein, 1993. "THE EVOLUTION OF BUYOUT PRICING AND FINANCIAL STRUCTURE (OR, WHAT WENT WRONG) IN THE 1980s," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 6(1), pages 72-88.
  9. Chung, Kee H. & Jo, Hoje, 1996. "The Impact of Security Analysts' Monitoring and Marketing Functions on the Market Value of Firms," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(04), pages 493-512, December.
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  13. Baker, H. Kent & Nofsinger, John R. & Weaver, Daniel G., 2002. "International Cross-Listing and Visibility," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 37(03), pages 495-521, September.
  14. Bengt Holmstrom & Steven N. Kaplan, 2001. "Corporate Governance and Merger Activity in the United States: Making Sense of the 1980s and 1990s," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 121-144, Spring.
  15. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  16. Bhushan, Ravi, 1989. "Firm characteristics and analyst following," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2-3), pages 255-274, July.
  17. Krigman, Laurie & Shaw, Wayne H. & Womack, Kent L., 2001. "Why do firms switch underwriters?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 245-284, May.
  18. Michael C. Jensen, 1991. "Corporate Control And The Politics Of Finance," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 4(2), pages 13-34.
  19. Renneboog, Luc & Simons, Tomas & Wright, Mike, 2007. "Why do public firms go private in the UK? The impact of private equity investors, incentive realignment and undervaluation," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 591-628, September.
  20. Mikkelson, Wayne H. & Partch, M. Megan & Shah, Kshitij, 1997. "Ownership and operating performance of companies that go public," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 281-307, June.
  21. Asquith, Paul, 1948- & Wizman, Thierry A., 1990. "Event risk, covenants, and bondholder returns in leveraged buyouts," Working papers WP 3173-90., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  22. Palepu, Krishna G., 1986. "Predicting takeover targets : A methodological and empirical analysis," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 3-35, March.
  23. Halpern, Paul & Kieschnick, Robert & Rotenberg, Wendy, 1999. "On the Heterogeneity of Leveraged Going Private Transactions," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(2), pages 281-309.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bjorvatn, Kjetil & Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza & Schneider, Friedrich, 2012. "Resource Curse and Power Balance: Evidence from Oil-Rich Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1308-1316.
  2. Davies, Phil & Minton, Bernadette & Schrand, Catherine, 2008. "Commodity Price Exposure and Ownerhsip Clienteles," Working Paper Series 2008-7, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  3. De, Soumendra & Jindra, Jan, 2012. "Why newly listed firms become acquisition targets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 2616-2631.
  4. Gill, Andrej & Walz, Uwe, 2012. "Going public - going private: The case of VC-backed firms," CFS Working Paper Series 2012/02, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  5. Jacob Oded & Allen Michel & Steven P. Feinstein, 2011. "Distortion in corporate valuation: implications of capital structure changes," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(8), pages 681-696, August.
  6. Stavros Peristiani & Vanessa Savino, 2011. "Are credit default swaps associated with higher corporate defaults?," Staff Reports 494, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. Billett, Matthew T. & Jiang, Zhan & Lie, Erik, 2010. "The effect of change-in-control covenants on takeovers: Evidence from leveraged buyouts," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-15, February.
  8. Anna Kovner & Chenyang Wei, 2012. "The private premium in public bonds," Working Papers 12-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  9. Constant Djama & Isabelle Martinez & Stéphanie Serve, 2012. "What do we know about delistings? A survey of the literature," Post-Print hal-00937899, HAL.
  10. Constant Djama & Isabelle Martinez & Stéphanie Serve, 2012. "What do we know about delistings? A survey of the literature," THEMA Working Papers 2012-38, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  11. Shourun Guo & Edie S. Hotchkiss & Weihong Song, 2008. "Do Buyouts (Still) Create Value?," NBER Working Papers 14187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Badertscher, Brad A. & Katz, Sharon P. & Rego, Sonja O., 2013. "The separation of ownership and control and corporate tax avoidance," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 228-250.
  13. Nicola Cetorelli & Stavros Peristiani, 2010. "Firm value and cross-listings: the impact of stock market prestige," Staff Reports 474, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  14. Asker, John & Farre-Mensa, Joan & Ljungqvist, Alexander P., 2010. "Does the Stock Market Harm Investment Incentives?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7857, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Yamin Ahmad & Russell Kashian, 2010. "Modeling the time to an initial public offering: When does the fruit ripen?," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 391-414, October.
  16. Kashefi Pour, Eilnaz & Lasfer, Meziane, 2013. "Why do companies delist voluntarily from the stock market?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 4850-4860.
  17. Stuart, Toby E. & Yim, Soojin, 2010. "Board interlocks and the propensity to be targeted in private equity transactions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 174-189, July.
  18. Sadok El Ghoul & Omrane Guedhami & Yang Ni & Jeffrey Pittman & Samir Saadi, 2012. "Does Religion Matter to Equity Pricing?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 111(4), pages 491-518, December.

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