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Excess control, agency costs and the probability of going private in France

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  • Belkhir, Mohamed
  • Boubaker, Sabri
  • Rouatbi, Wael

Abstract

The current study investigates the determinants of going private (GP) in France. It contrasts a sample of 161 firms that went private between 1997 and 2009 with a propensity-score-matched sample of firms that remained public during the same period. The results indicate that, unlike for firms that remain public, the largest controlling shareholders (LCSs) of GP firms control their firms using an incommensurately small fraction of ultimate cash flow rights. This is consistent with the view that agency problems between large and minority shareholders make public firms less attractive to investors, which reduces the benefits of staying public and encourages the LCSs to take their firms private or accept takeover offers. Additional results show that GP firms have more undervalued stock prices and higher free cash flows than non-GP firms. Expected interest tax shields, low growth opportunities, and pre-GP takeover interest do not seem to affect the probability of GP.

Suggested Citation

  • Belkhir, Mohamed & Boubaker, Sabri & Rouatbi, Wael, 2013. "Excess control, agency costs and the probability of going private in France," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 250-265.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:glofin:v:24:y:2013:i:3:p:250-265
    DOI: 10.1016/j.gfj.2013.10.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Going private; Ownership structure; Large shareholders; Corporate governance;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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