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Conglomerate Entrenchment under Optimal Financial Contracting

  • Antoine Faure- Grimaud
  • Roman Inderst

We provide a formal analysis of the notion that conglomerates are more ‘entrenched’ as they have ‘deeper pockets’. Using the financial contracting model of Bolton and Scharfstein (1990), we can isolate two effects that confirm this conjecture: the pooling of cash flows, which allows to smooth out repayments, and the ability to obtain better credit terms. For less profitable business segments, the internal capital market operated in a conglomerate may, however, work in the opposite direction, increasing the sensitivity of operations to own cash flows and increasing the likelihood of exit.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 95 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 850-861

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:3:p:850-861
Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828054201260
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  1. David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 2000. "The Dark Side of Internal Capital Markets: Divisional Rent-Seeking and Inefficient Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2537-2564, December.
  2. Vojislav Maksimovic & Gordon Phillips, 2002. "Do Conglomerate Firms Allocate Resources Inefficiently Across Industries? Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(2), pages 721-767, 04.
  3. Kovenock, D. & Phillips, G.M., 1995. "Capital Structure and Product Market Behavior: An Examination of Plant Exit and Investment Decisions," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 313.95, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
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  5. Jeremy C. Stein, 1995. "Internal Capital Markets and the Competition for Corporate Resources," NBER Working Papers 5101, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  7. Mary E. Deily, 1991. "Exit Strategies and Plant-Closing Decisions: The Case of Steel," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 250-263, Summer.
  8. Ghemawat, Pankaj & Nalebuff, Barry, 1990. "The Devolution of Declining Industries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 167-86, February.
  9. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
  10. Naveen Khanna, 2001. "The Bright Side of Internal Capital Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1489-1528, 08.
  11. Comment, Robert & Jarrell, Gregg A., 1995. "Corporate focus and stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 67-87, January.
  12. Roman Inderst & Holger M. Müller, 2003. "Internal versus External Financing: An Optimal Contracting Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 1033-1062, 06.
  13. Fluck, Zsuzsanna & Lynch, Anthony W, 1999. "Why Do Firms Merge and Then Divest? A Theory of Financial Synergy," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(3), pages 319-46, July.
  14. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1987. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Jean-Pierre Benoit, 1984. "Financially Constrained Entry in a Game with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 490-499, Winter.
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