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Government asset sales, economic nationalism, and acquirer wealth effects

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  • Borisova, Ginka
  • Cowan, Arnold R.

Abstract

We analyze acquirer wealth effects using a comprehensive sample of government asset sale announcements in 123 countries around the world in 1984–2009. Overall, we find positive abnormal returns to acquirers of state-owned assets. Returns are greater when the acquirer is domestic, when the sale occurs in a developing nation, and when the acquirer itself is not a former state-owned enterprise. Buyers of bailed-out firms experience average abnormal returns of 3.16%, compared to 0.70% for all other government sales. Our results suggest that the market favors acquirers that benefit from divesting governments driven by economic nationalism rather than sale revenue maximization.

Suggested Citation

  • Borisova, Ginka & Cowan, Arnold R., 2014. "Government asset sales, economic nationalism, and acquirer wealth effects," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 351-368.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:29:y:2014:i:c:p:351-368
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2014.09.011
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    Keywords

    Government; Privatization; Asset sales; Corporate governance; Bailouts;

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out

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