Eitan Goldman, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

Campus WU Vienna D3.0.225 11:00 - 12:15

Organizer VGSF

As part of the series of the „Finance Research Seminar“, VGSF welcomes Eitan Goldman from Kelley School of Business, Indiana University to present his research paper.
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See the Gap: Firm Returns and Shareholder Incentives

Smart money often trades actively during times of large corporate events. We document in the context of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) that, during the bid negotiation period, institutional investors increase their holdings of acquirers in deals that generate positive value and decrease their holdings in those that generate negative value. The resulting trading profits create a significant gap between the return to the acquiring firm and the return to these investors, and this gap renders firm return a misleading measure of investors’ incentives in pursuing mergers. On average, institutional investors of acquiring firms earn 2.4% from M&A while the return to passive acquirer shareholders is only -0.9%. In deals that deliver volatile returns to acquiring firms, the gap increases to 6.3%. We further show how the trading motive impacts the ex ante holdings of institutional investors and how the trading decision and the resulting gap are impacted by deal characteristics such as merger size and stock liquidity as well as institutions’ characteristics such as initial holdings, portfolio weight, and trading skills. Our study highlights that the group of investors who have influence over corporate actions do not necessarily bear the full consequences of such events, and therefore accounting for the dynamics of shareholder composition is critical in measuring investors’ incentives correctly.

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