50+ Years of Diversification Announcements
California State University, Fullerton - Department of Finance
John G. Matsusaka
University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business; USC Gould School of Law
January 8, 2008
USC CLEO Research Paper No. C08-2
Marshall School of Business Working Paper No. MKT 11-08
This paper studies the announcement returns from 4,764 mergers over the last 57 years in order to shed light on the causes of corporate diversification. One prominent view is that diversification is value destroying, either because of agency problems or internal investment distortions, but we find that combined (acquirer + target) announcement returns were significantly positive for diversifying mergers throughout the period, and no lower than the returns to related mergers. We find that returns to diversifying acquisitions declined after the 1970s, and that investors rewarded mergers involving financially constrained firms before but not after 1980, consistent with the view that the value of internal capital markets declined after the conglomerate merger wave.
* Earlier versions of this paper were circulated under the names Fifty Years of Diversification Announcements and The Waning of Corporate Diversification.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 49
Keywords: Diversification, Mergers, Acquisitions, Mergers and Acquisitions, Internal Capital Markets, Corporate Diversification, Corporate Governance, Corporate Control
JEL Classification: G34, G3
Date posted: January 14, 2008 ; Last revised: November 16, 2013