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Does Mandatory Shareholder Voting Prevent Bad Acquisitions?

Does Mandatory Shareholder Voting Prevent Bad Acquisitions?

Marco Becht 

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) – Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Andrea Polo 

Universitat Pompeu Fabra – Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences; Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE); Stanford University – Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance

Stefano Rossi 

Krannert School of Management; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
May 30, 2014
European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) – Finance Working Paper No. 422/2014
Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University Working Paper No. 188

Abstract: 
Corporate acquisitions can be ruinous for acquirer shareholders. Can shareholder voting prevent such corporate disasters? Previous empirical studies based on U.S. data are inconclusive because shareholder approval is discretionary. We study the U.K. setting where bids for relatively large targets are subject to mandatory shareholder approval. Our findings suggest that under the U.K. listing rules shareholder voting can deter bad acquisitions. We find that shareholders gain 8 cents per dollar at the announcement of a Class 1 deal or $13.6 billion over 1992-2010 in aggregate. In the United States acquirers lost $214 billion in matched deals during the same period. In the U.K. relatively smaller Class 2 transactions do not require a vote and shareholders lost $3 billion. Our results are robust to confounding effects and other controls. A Multidimensional Regression Discontinuity Design (MRDD) inspired test supports a causal interpretation of our findings. Class 1 deals just above the assignment threshold perform better than Class 2 deals just below. Our evidence suggests that mandatory voting makes boards more likely to refrain from overpaying or from proposing deals that are not in the interest of shareholders.

 

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About bambooinnovator
KB Kee is the Managing Editor of the Moat Report Asia (www.moatreport.com), a research service focused exclusively on highlighting undervalued wide-moat businesses in Asia; subscribers from North America, Europe, the Oceania and Asia include professional value investors with over $20 billion in asset under management in equities, some of the world’s biggest secretive global hedge fund giants, and savvy private individual investors who are lifelong learners in the art of value investing. KB has been rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as an analyst in Asian capital markets. He was head of research and fund manager at a Singapore-based value investment firm. As a member of the investment committee, he helped the firm’s Asia-focused equity funds significantly outperform the benchmark index. He was previously the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. KB has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy, value investing, macroeconomic and industry trends, and detecting accounting frauds in Singapore, HK and China. KB was a faculty (accounting) at SMU teaching accounting courses. KB is currently the Chief Investment Officer at an ASX-listed investment holdings company since September 2015, helping to manage the listed Asian equities investments in the Hidden Champions Fund. Disclaimer: This article is for discussion purposes only and does not constitute an offer, recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any investments, securities, futures or options. All articles in the website reflect the personal opinions of the writer.

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