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What drives the valuation premium in IPOs versus acquisitions? An empirical analysis

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  • Bayar, Onur
  • Chemmanur, Thomas J.

Abstract

Using a hand-collected data set of private firm acquisitions and IPOs, this paper develops the first empirical analysis in the literature of the “IPO valuation premium puzzle,” which refers to a situation where many private firms choose to be acquired rather than to go public at higher valuations. We also test several new hypotheses regarding a private firm's choice between IPOs and acquisitions. Our analysis of private firm valuations in IPOs and acquisitions indicates that IPO valuation premia disappear for larger VC backed firms after controlling for various observable factors affecting a firm's propensity to choose IPOs over acquisitions. Further, after controlling for the long-run component of the expected payoff to firm insiders from an IPO exit, we find that the IPO valuation premium vanishes even for larger non-VC backed firms and shrinks substantially for smaller firms as well. Our Heckman-style treatment effects regression analysis demonstrates that the above results are robust to controlling for the selection of exit mechanism by firm insiders based on unobservables. Our findings on private firms' choice between IPOs and acquisitions can be summarized as follows. First, firms operating in industries characterized by the absence of a dominant market player (and therefore more viable against product market competition) are more likely to go public rather than to be acquired. Second, more capital intensive firms, those operating in industries characterized by greater private benefits of control, and those which are harder to value by IPO market investors are more likely to go public rather than to be acquired. Third, the likelihood of an IPO over an acquisition is greater for venture backed firms and those characterized by higher pre-exit sales growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Bayar, Onur & Chemmanur, Thomas J., 2012. "What drives the valuation premium in IPOs versus acquisitions? An empirical analysis," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 451-475.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:18:y:2012:i:3:p:451-475
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2012.01.007
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    Cited by:

    1. Campbell, Randall C. & Nagel, Gregory L., 2016. "Private information and limitations of Heckman's estimator in banking and corporate finance research," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 186-195.
    2. Gerasymenko, Violetta & Arthurs, Jonathan D., 2014. "New insights into venture capitalists' activity: IPO and time-to-exit forecast as antecedents of their post-investment involvement," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 405-420.
    3. Burns, Natasha & Jindra, Jan & Minnick, Kristina, 2017. "Sales of private firms and the role of CEO compensation," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 444-463.
    4. Liu, Jia & Lister, Roger & Pang, Dong, 2013. "Corporate evolution following initial public offerings in China: A life-course approach," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 1-20.
    5. Howard, Michael D. & Kolb, Johannes, 2018. "Founder CEOs and new venture media coverage," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 01-2018, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    6. Greene, Daniel, 2016. "The wealth of private firm owners following reverse mergers," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 56-75.
    7. Obrimah, Oghenovo A., 2016. "How important is innovation for venture capitalists’ (VCs’) market reputation?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 64-76.
    8. Andrea Signori & Silvio Vismara, 2017. "Stock-financed M&As of newly listed firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 115-134, January.
    9. Mattia Cattaneo & Michele Meoli & Silvio Vismara, 2015. "Cross-border M&As of biotech firms affiliated with internationalized universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 409-433, June.
    10. Aktas, Nihat & Cousin, Jean-Gabriel & Ozdakak, Ali & Zhang, Junyao, 2016. "Industry IPOs, growth opportunities, and private target acquisitions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 193-209.
    11. Michael J. Peel, 2014. "Addressing unobserved endogeneity bias in accounting studies: control and sensitivity methods by variable type," Accounting and Business Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(5), pages 545-571, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Initial public offerings; Acquisitions; Valuation premium; Private firms; Exit mechanisms;

    JEL classification:

    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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