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Investment decisions and internal capital markets: Evidence from acquisitions

  • Doukas, John A.
  • Kan, Ozgur B.

In this paper, we examine the workings of internal capital markets in diversified firms that engage in related and unrelated corporate acquisitions. Our evidence indicates that bidders invest outside their core business (diversify) when the cash flows of their core business fall behind those of their non-core lines of business. However, bidders invest inside their core business (i.e., undertake non-diversifying investments) when their core business experiences superior cash flows. We also find that bidders whose core business are in industries with low growth prospects engage in diversifying acquisitions while bidders whose core business are in high growth industries undertake non-diversifying acquisitions. The pre-acquisition evidence, then, suggests that firms tend to diversify when the cash flows and the growth opportunities of their core business are considerably lower than those of their non-core business. Subsequent to acquisitions we find that diversifying bidders continue to allocate financial resources from less profitable business segments (i.e., core business) to more profitable business segments (i.e., non-core business). Given the low profitability of diversifying bidders' core business, this capital resource allocation suggests that diversification increases do not result in capital allocation inefficiencies. The evidence for non-diversifying bidders, however, supports the existence of "corporate socialism" in the sense that there is transfer of funds from the profitable (core) to the less profitable (non-core) business segments in multi-segment bidders. We find that the capital expenditures of bidders' non-core business segments rely on both core and non-core cash flows.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

Volume (Year): 32 (2008)
Issue (Month): 8 (August)
Pages: 1484-1498

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:32:y:2008:i:8:p:1484-1498
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

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