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Why Do Controlling Families of Public Firms Sell Their Remaining Ownership Stake?


  • Klasa, Sandy


I investigate what leads controlling families of publicly traded firms to sell their remaining ownership stake. The sale of a controlling stake is best explained in the context of theories of the firm related to optimal risk bearing, the separation of ownership and management expertise, the CEO succession process, and the monitoring provided by outside blockholders. A timing explanation is only marginally supported. The sale of a controlling stake is not explained by insufficient financial resources to fully invest in growth opportunities. This study offers insights into the final stage of the process in which entrepreneurs sequentially sell their firm to outside parties and also identifies the nature of costs of concentrated ownership.

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  • Klasa, Sandy, 2007. "Why Do Controlling Families of Public Firms Sell Their Remaining Ownership Stake?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(02), pages 339-367, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:42:y:2007:i:02:p:339-367_00

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Schmid, Thomas & Ampenberger, Markus & Kaserer, Christoph & Achleitner, Ann-Kristin, 2010. "Controlling shareholders and payout policy: do founding families have a special 'taste for dividends'?," CEFS Working Paper Series 2010-01, Technische Universität München (TUM), Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies (CEFS).
    2. Croci, Ettore & Petmezas, Dimitris, 2010. "Minority shareholders' wealth effects and stock market development: Evidence from increase-in-ownership M&As," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 681-694, March.
    3. Ampenberger, Markus & Schmid, Thomas & Achleitner, Ann-Kristin & Kaserer, Christoph, 2009. "Capital structure decisions in family firms: empirical evidence from a bank-based economy," CEFS Working Paper Series 2009-05, Technische Universität München (TUM), Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies (CEFS).
    4. Achleitner, Ann-Kristin & Kaserer, Christoph & Kauf, Tobias, 2012. "The dynamics of voting ownership in lone-founder, family-founder, and heir firms," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 79-96.
    5. Basu, Nilanjan & Dimitrova, Lora & Paeglis, Imants, 2009. "Family control and dilution in mergers," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 829-841, May.
    6. Helwege, Jean & Packer, Frank, 2009. "Private matters," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 362-383, July.
    7. Ayyagari, Meghana & Doidge, Craig, 2010. "Does cross-listing facilitate changes in corporate ownership and control?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 208-223, January.
    8. King, Roger & Peng, Winnie Qian, 2013. "The effect of industry characteristics on the control longevity of founding-family firms," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 281-295.
    9. Ettore Crocia & John A. Doukas & Halit Gonenc, 2010. "Family Control and Financing Decisions," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1004, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    10. Caprio, Lorenzo & Croci, Ettore & Del Giudice, Alfonso, 2011. "Ownership structure, family control, and acquisition decisions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 1636-1657.
    11. Chung, Huimin & Judge, William Q. & Li, Yi-Hua, 2015. "Voluntary disclosure, excess executive compensation, and firm value," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 64-90.
    12. Sea-Jin Chang & Jungwook Shim, 2015. "When does transitioning from family to professional management improve firm performance?," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(9), pages 1297-1316, September.

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