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Foreign vs domestic ownership on debt reduction: An investigation of acquisition targets in Italy and Spain

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  • Bamiatzi, Vassiliki
  • Efthyvoulou, Georgios
  • Jabbour, Liza

Abstract

This paper examines the role of foreign versus domestic ownership in reducing the debt levels of acquired firms in Italy and Spain over the period 2002–2010. Acknowledging that lower debt levels can mitigate the risk of failure and thus enhance the chances for a positive post-acquisition performance and survival, we particularly examine the causal effect of foreign and domestic acquisitions on two firm-level debt measures: gearing and short-term leverage. To estimate causal relationships, we control for selection bias by applying propensity score matching techniques. Our results indicate that foreign acquisition leads to a significant and steady reduction in the debt ratios of the target companies. In contrast, the relationship between domestic acquisition and debt reduction appears to be smaller and statistically less robust.

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  • Bamiatzi, Vassiliki & Efthyvoulou, Georgios & Jabbour, Liza, 2017. "Foreign vs domestic ownership on debt reduction: An investigation of acquisition targets in Italy and Spain," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 801-815.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:26:y:2017:i:5:p:801-815
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2017.01.008
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    Keywords

    Debt ratios; Capital structure; Acquisitions; Foreign investment;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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