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Conflicts of Interests Among Shareholders: The Case of Corporate Acquisitions

  • Jarrad Harford
  • Dirk Jenter
  • Kai Li

We identify important conflicts of interests among shareholders and examine their effects on corporate decisions. When a firm is considering an action that affects other firms in its shareholders' portfolios, shareholders with heterogeneous portfolios may disagree about whether to proceed. This effect is measurable and potentially large in the case of corporate acquisitions, where bidder shareholders with holdings in the target want management to maximize a weighted average of both firms' equity values. Empirically, we show that such cross-holdings are large for a significant group of institutional shareholders in the average acquisition and for a majority of institutional shareholders in a significant number of deals. We find evidence that managers consider cross-holdings when identifying potential targets and that they trade off cross-holdings with synergies when selecting them. Overall, we conclude that conflicts of interests among shareholders are sizeable and, at least in the case of acquisitions, affect managerial decisions.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13274.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13274.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13274
Note: CF
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  1. Lucian Bebchuk & Alma Cohen & Allen Ferrell, 2009. "What Matters in Corporate Governance?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(2), pages 783-827, February.
  2. Betton, Sandra & Eckbo, B Espen, 2000. "Toeholds, Bid Jumps, and Expected Payoffs in Takeovers," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(4), pages 841-82.
  3. Matvos, Gregor & Ostrovsky, Michael, 2008. "Cross-ownership, returns, and voting in mergers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(3), pages 391-403, September.
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