Distance, information asymmetry, and mergers: evidence from Canadian firms
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of the distance between the acquiror and the target on merger outcomes. Design/methodology/approach - The authors use the distance between acquiror and target headquarters for a sample of 134 Canadian mergers to proxy for the impact of information asymmetry due to distance. They use an ordinary least squares regression to examine the impact of this distance on the abnormal returns earned by the acquiror and the operating performance of the acquiror. They also use a logistic regression to test for the impact of distance on the choice of the medium of exchange. Findings - The results suggest that a larger distance between the acquiror and the target is related to lower abnormal returns for the acquiror, poorer post-merger operating performance, as well as to a greater use of stock as the medium of exchange. The results are robust to several alternate specifications. Research limitations/implications - The findings of this paper extend existing research that suggests that distance affects investment decisions. Moreover, by analyzing the choice of the medium of exchange, this paper provides evidence that indicates that the distance matters due to its impact on information. As such, the paper suggests a potential empirical approach to measuring information asymmetry. Future research could help us better understand the role of distance in various other aspects of corporate decision making. Originality/value - This paper, by analyzing a sample of Canadian firms, provides an out-of-sample test for prior research that has focused almost exclusively on US firms. Moreover, by looking at the choice of the medium of exchange, it provides direct evidence that distance affects corporate decision making.
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Volume (Year): 37 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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