Family control and dilution in mergers
We analyze the influence of the level as well as the change in family ownership on value creation in mergers involving newly public firms. Our findings suggest that acquirers with low levels of family ownership earn lower abnormal returns than do those with high levels of ownership. In addition, families with low ownership in their firm are more likely to use cash as the medium of exchange, thus avoiding dilution and maintaining their control. Further, acquisitions of targets with low levels of family ownership are associated with greater value creation. Our results are consistent with the entrenchment of families at low levels of ownership and a better alignment of their interests with those of minority shareholders at high levels of ownership. Finally, we find that dilution of the family's ownership, due to the use of stock as the medium of exchange, alters the family's incentives and thus influences firm value.
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