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The Long Run Abnormal Performance of UK Acquirers and the Free Cash Flow Hypothesis

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  • Alan Gregory

Abstract

Evidence from recent US and UK studies reveals a pattern of poor long run post acquisition performance by acquiring firms. One explanation, due to Jensen (1986) is that acquirers with an excess of free cash flow (FCF) will have a propensity to squander this on wasteful investments, including take-overs. In this paper, using a dataset of UK take-overs and proxies for free cash flow similar to those used by Lang, Stulz and Walking (1991) , we find no support for the FCF hypothesis and show that this conclusion is robust to the model of long run returns employed. Contrary to the free cash flow hypothesis there is evidence that acquirers with high free cash flow perform better than acquirers with low free cash flow. Although not consistent with the Jensen hypothesis, this evidence is compatible with the emerging UK evidence that shows cash flow-to-price measures are associated with market returns. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2005.

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  • Alan Gregory, 2005. "The Long Run Abnormal Performance of UK Acquirers and the Free Cash Flow Hypothesis," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(5-6), pages 777-814.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jbfnac:v:32:y:2005-06:i:5-6:p:777-814
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    1. Roll, Richard, 1986. "The Hubris Hypothesis of Corporate Takeovers," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(2), pages 197-216, April.
    2. David Ashton & Mark Tippett, 1998. "Systematic Risk and Empirical Research," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(9-10), pages 1325-1356.
    3. John D. Lyon & Brad M. Barber & Chih‐Ling Tsai, 1999. "Improved Methods for Tests of Long‐Run Abnormal Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(1), pages 165-201, February.
    4. Perfect, Steven B. & Peterson, David R. & Peterson, Pamela P., 1995. "Self-tender offers: The effects of free cash flow, cash flow signalling, and the measurement of Tobin's q," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 1005-1023, September.
    5. Doukas, John, 1995. "Overinvestment, Tobin's q and gains from foreign acquisitions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(7), pages 1285-1303, October.
    6. Lang, Larry H. P. & Stulz, ReneM. & Walkling, Ralph A., 1991. "A test of the free cash flow hypothesis*1: The case of bidder returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 315-335, October.
    7. Alan Gregory & Richard D.F. Harris & Maria Michou, 2001. "An Analysis of Contrarian Investment Strategies in the UK," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(9‐10), pages 1192-1228, November.
    8. Alan Gregory, 1997. "An Examination of the Long Run Performance of UK Acquiring Firms," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(7&8), pages 971-1002.
    9. Raghavendra Rau, P. & Vermaelen, Theo, 1998. "Glamour, value and the post-acquisition performance of acquiring firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 223-253, August.
    10. David Ashton & Mark Tippett, 1998. "Systematic Risk and Empirical Research," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(9‐10), pages 1325-1356, November.
    11. Alan Gregory & Richard D.F. Harris & Maria Michou, 2001. "An Analysis of Contrarian Investment Strategies in the UK," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(9&10), pages 1192-1228.
    12. Lindenberg, Eric B & Ross, Stephen A, 1981. "Tobin's q Ratio and Industrial Organization," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 1-32, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sehleanu Mariana, 2015. "Creating Or Destroying Value Through Mergers And Acquisitions?," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 593-600, July.
    2. Kyriacos Kyriacou & Kul B. Luintel & Bryan Mase, 2010. "Private Information in Executive Stock Option Trades: Evidence of Insider Trading in the UK," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(308), pages 751-774, October.
    3. Paul André & Walid Ben-Amar & Samir Saadi, 2014. "Family firms and high technology Mergers & Acquisitions," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 18(1), pages 129-158, February.
    4. Sheng-Syan Chen & Yong-Chin Liu & I-Ju Chen, 2014. "Long-Run Stock Performance and Its Determinants for Asset Buyers," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(5-6), pages 685-716, June.
    5. Kyriacou, Kyriacos & Luintel, Kul B & Mase, Bryan, 2008. "Private Information in Executives' Option Trades: Evidence from the UK," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2008/4, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
    6. repec:spt:fininv:v:6:y:2017:i:4:f:6_4_3 is not listed on IDEAS

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