Hedge Fund Activism
50 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2008
Date Written: October 2006
This paper examines the causes and consequences of hedge fund activism. Hedge funds target profitable and healthy firms, with above-average cash holdings. The target firms earn significantly higher abnormal stock returns around the initial 13D filing date than a sample of control firm. However, they do not show improvements in accounting performances in the year after the initial purchase. Instead, hedge funds extract cash from the firm through increases in the target s debt capacity and higher dividends. Examination of proxy fights and threats accompanying the activist campaign suggests that hedge fund managers achieve their goals by posing a credible threat of engaging the target in a costly proxy solicitation contest.
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