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Do Managers Manipulate Earnings Prior to Management Buyouts?

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  • Mao, Y.

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

  • Renneboog, L.D.R.

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

Abstract

To address the question as to whether managers intending to purchase their company by means of a levered buyout transaction manipulate earnings in order to buy their firm on the cheap, we study the different types of earnings management prior to the transaction: accrual management, real earnings management, and asset reserves revaluation. To identify the management engagement incentives, we contrast earnings management in management buyouts (MBOs) with that in (i) institutional buyouts (IBOs) and (ii) non-buyout firms. We find: (i) strong negative earnings management via both accrual and real earnings activities in MBOs supporting the above management engagement incentive, (ii) modest negative accrual management and insignificant real earnings manipulation in IBOs, and (iii) positive earnings management in non-buyout firms. Asset revaluation in MBOs is not a frequently used channel. We do not find evidence that a high external borrowing need in the levered transactions mitigates the downward earnings manipulation in MBOs. The implementation of the revised UK Corporate Governance Code of 2003 has somewhat reduced the degree of both accrual earnings and real earnings management in MBOs, but increased the relative use of real earnings management as this may be harder to detect.
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Suggested Citation

  • Mao, Y. & Renneboog, L.D.R., 2013. "Do Managers Manipulate Earnings Prior to Management Buyouts?," Discussion Paper 2013-055, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:366e26db-8158-44ca-9ef0-a0828157db03
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Y.C. Lin & Ken V. Peasnell, 2000. "Fixed Asset Revaluation and Equity Depletion in the UK," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3-4), pages 359-394.
    2. Aboody, David & Barth, Mary E. & Kasznik, Ron, 1999. "Revaluations of fixed assets and future firm performance: Evidence from the UK1," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1-3), pages 149-178, January.
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    5. Ecker, Frank & Francis, Jennifer & Olsson, Per & Schipper, Katherine, 2013. "Estimation sample selection for discretionary accruals models," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 190-211.
    6. Jana P. Fidrmuc & Alessandro Palandri & Peter Roosenboom & Dick van Dijk, 2013. "When Do Managers Seek Private Equity Backing in Public-to-Private Transactions?," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 17(3), pages 1099-1139.
    7. Anil Shivdasani & Yihui Wang, 2011. "Did Structured Credit Fuel the LBO Boom?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(4), pages 1291-1328, August.
    8. Y.C. Lin & Ken V. Peasnell, 2000. "Fixed Asset Revaluation and Equity Depletion in the UK," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3‐4), pages 359-394, April.
    9. Chi, Jing & Yang, Jingjing & Young, Martin, 2014. "Mutual funds’ holdings and listed firms’ earnings management: Evidence from China," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 62-78.
    10. Dechow, Patricia & Ge, Weili & Schrand, Catherine, 2010. "Understanding earnings quality: A review of the proxies, their determinants and their consequences," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 344-401, December.
    11. Renneboog, Luc & Simons, Tomas & Wright, Mike, 2007. "Why do public firms go private in the UK? The impact of private equity investors, incentive realignment and undervaluation," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 591-628, September.
    12. Martynova, Marina & Renneboog, Luc, 2011. "Evidence on the international evolution and convergence of corporate governance regulations," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 1531-1557.
    13. Ulf Axelson & Tim Jenkinson & Per Strömberg & Michael S. Weisbach, 2013. "Borrow Cheap, Buy High? The Determinants of Leverage and Pricing in Buyouts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 68(6), pages 2223-2267, December.
    14. Franks, Julian & Mayer, Colin & Renneboog, Luc, 2001. "Who Disciplines Management in Poorly Performing Companies?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 10(3-4), pages 209-248, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bill Francis & Iftekhar Hasan & Lingxiang Li, 2016. "Abnormal real operations, real earnings management, and subsequent crashes in stock prices," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 217-260, February.
    2. Francis, Bill & Hasan, Iftekhar & Li, Lingxiang, 2015. "Evidence for the existence of downward real earnings management," Research Discussion Papers 13/2015, Bank of Finland.
    3. Mittal, Amit & Garg, Ajay Kumar, 2016. "How do Indian firms cope with a crisis? Earnings management characteristics of CNX Nifty 100 companies," MPRA Paper 85353, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. repec:bof:bofrdp:urn:nbn:fi:bof-201508131351 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Renneboog, Luc & Vansteenkiste, Cara, 2017. "Leveraged Buyouts : A Survey of the Literature," Other publications TiSEM 573ebdd5-a720-4110-8ed1-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Gao, Shenghao & Meng, Qingbin & Chan, Kam C. & Wu, Weixing, 2017. "Earnings management before IPOs: Are institutional investors misled?," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 90-108.
    7. Stefano Bonini, 2015. "Secondary Buyouts: Operating Performance and Investment Determinants," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 44(2), pages 431-470, June.
    8. Like Jiang & Michel Magnan & Lixin (Nancy) Su & Shafu Zhang, 2018. "Damage Control: Earnings Management by Firms Facing Product Harm Crises," CIRANO Working Papers 2018s-01, CIRANO.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Accounting manipulation; earnings management; leveraged buyout; management buyout; LBO; MBO;

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting

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