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Fire-Sale FDI or Business as Usual?

  • Ron Alquist
  • Rahul Mukherjee
  • Linda Tesar

Using a new data set, we examine the characteristics and dynamics of cross-border mergers and acquisitions during emerging-market financial crises, that is, so-called “fire-sale FDI.” Our findings shed fresh light on whether the transactions undertaken during crisis periods differ in fundamental ways from those undertaken during more tranquil periods. The increase in foreign acquisitions during crises is mainly driven by non-financial acquirers targeting firms in the same industry rather than foreign financial firms. This increase in acquisition activity in a given industry is unrelated to the industry’s dependence on external finance. There is also no evidence of an increase in the size of stakes bought during crises. In terms of the effect of crises on emerging-market mergers and acquisitions, we find little evidence that foreign acquisitions are resold, or “flipped,” more frequently than domestic acquisitions. Moreover, flipping rates are uncorrelated with the industry’s dependence on external finance. Finally, the probability of being flipped to a domestic buyer does not differ across crisis and non-crisis periods. All of these results are robust to alternative empirical specifications, different definitions of crises, and the inclusion of macroeconomic controls. Contrary to conventional wisdom, fire-sale FDI and asset flipping by foreign firms appear to have been “business as usual.”

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Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Working Papers with number 13-17.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:13-17
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  1. Kaplan, Steven N & Weisbach, Michael S, 1992. " The Success of Acquisitions: Evidence from Divestitures," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(1), pages 107-38, March.
  2. Anusha Chari & Paige P. Ouimet & Linda L. Tesar, 2010. "The Value of Control in Emerging Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(4), pages 1741-1770, April.
  3. Rossi, Stefano & Volpin, Paolo F., 2004. "Cross-country determinants of mergers and acquisitions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 277-304, November.
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  8. Giglio, Stefano & Pathak, Parag & Campbell, John Y., 2011. "Forced Sales and House Prices," Scholarly Articles 9887623, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  10. Paul Krugman, 2000. "Fire-Sale FDI," NBER Chapters, in: Capital Flows and the Emerging Economies: Theory, Evidence, and Controversies, pages 43-58 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1995. "The Limits of Arbitrage," NBER Working Papers 5167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Fabian Valencia & Luc Laeven, 2008. "Systemic Banking Crises; A New Database," IMF Working Papers 08/224, International Monetary Fund.
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