Excess Control, Agency Costs and the Probability of Going Private in France
34 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 29, 2013
The current study investigates the determinants of going private (GP) in France. It contrasts a sample of 161 firms that went private between 1997 and 2009 with a propensity-score-matched sample of firms that remained public during the same period. The results indicate that, unlike for firms that remain public, the largest controlling shareholders (LCSs) of GP firms control their firms using an incommensurately small fraction of ultimate cash flow rights. This is consistent with the view that agency problems between large and minority shareholders make public firms less attractive to investors, which reduces the benefits of staying public and encourages the LCSs to take their firms private or accept takeover offers. Additional results show that GP firms have more undervalued stock prices and higher free cash flows than non-GP firms. Expected interest tax shields, low growth opportunities, and pre-GP takeover interest do not seem to affect the probability of GP.
Keywords: Going private, Ownership structure, Large shareholders, Corporate governance
JEL Classification: G32, G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation