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Mergers increase default risk

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  • Furfine, Craig H.
  • Rosen, Richard J.

Abstract

We examine the impact of mergers on default risk. Despite the potential for asset diversification, we find that, on average, a merger increases the default risk of the acquiring firm. This result cannot solely be explained by the tendency for generally safe acquirers to purchase riskier targets or by the tendency of acquiring firms to increase leverage post-merger. Our evidence suggests that managerial motivations may play an important role. In particular, we find larger merger-related increases in risk at firms where CEOs have large option-based compensation, where recent stock performance is poor, and where idiosyncratic equity volatility is high. These results suggest that the increased default risk may arise from aggressive managerial actions affecting risk enough to outweigh the strong risk-reducing asset diversification expected from a typical merger.

Suggested Citation

  • Furfine, Craig H. & Rosen, Richard J., 2011. "Mergers increase default risk," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 832-849, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:4:p:832-849
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    Cited by:

    1. Saqib Aziz & Michael Dowling & Jean-Jacques Lilti, 2016. "Bank Acquisitiveness and Financial Crisis Vulnerability," Post-Print halshs-01360952, HAL.
    2. Croci, Ettore & Petmezas, Dimitris, 2015. "Do risk-taking incentives induce CEOs to invest? Evidence from acquisitions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1-23.
    3. Aktas, Nihat & Karampatsas, Nikolaos & Petmezas, Dimitris & Servaes, Henri, 2015. "Credit Ratings and Acquisitions," CEPR Discussion Papers 10719, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Mühlnickel, Janina & Weiß, Gregor N.F., 2015. "Consolidation and systemic risk in the international insurance industry," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 187-202.
    5. Singhal, Rajeev & Zhu, Yun (Ellen), 2013. "Bankruptcy risk, costs and corporate diversification," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1475-1489.
    6. Koerniadi, Hardjo & Krishnamurti, Chandrasekhar & Tourani-Rad, Alireza, 2015. "Cross-border mergers and acquisitions and default risk," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 336-348.
    7. Hagendorff, Bjoern & Hagendorff, Jens & Keasey, Kevin & Gonzalez, Angelica, 2014. "The risk implications of insurance securitization: The case of catastrophe bonds," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 387-402.
    8. Saqib Aziz & Michael Dowling & Jean-Jacques Lilti, 2016. "Bank Acquisitiveness and Financial Crisis Vulnerability," Post-Print hal-01393953, HAL.
    9. repec:eee:finana:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:203-212 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Andrea Boellis & Sergio Mariotti & Alessandro Minichilli & Lucia Piscitello, 2016. "Family involvement and firms’ establishment mode choice in foreign markets," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 47(8), pages 929-950, October.
    11. Hagendorff, Jens & Vallascas, Francesco, 2011. "CEO pay incentives and risk-taking: Evidence from bank acquisitions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 1078-1095, September.
    12. Weiß, Gregor N.F. & Neumann, Sascha & Bostandzic, Denefa, 2014. "Systemic risk and bank consolidation: International evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 165-181.
    13. 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.
    14. Fomin, M., 2016. "Business cycles and acquisition policy: Analysis of M&A deals of metallurgical companies," Working Papers 6441, Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg State University.

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