Which Governance Characteristics Affect the Incidence of Divestitures in Australia?
Posted: 6 Jun 2015
Date Written: May 1, 2015
Event studies indicate that divestitures create shareholder value. However, managers are generally disinclined to execute a divestiture due to their inherent preferences for growing the firm’s assets. Governance structures can play a significant role in restraining this agency conflict. Using a sample of divestitures carried out by Australian firms over a recent 10-year period, we find that board compensation and ownership concentration increase the likelihood of a divestiture. In addition, board compensation has a stronger effect in firms that are more likely to divest, while larger boards inhibit divestitures in firms that are less likely to divest. Our analysis involves a propensity score matching method. We show that poor matching can lead to large biases and inconsistencies.
Keywords: Agency conflicts, corporate governance, divestiture, matching, propensity score, restructuring
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