Fire Sale Discount: Evidence from the Sale of Minority Equity Stakes
Charles A. Dice Center Working Paper No. 2015-11
46 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2015 Last revised: 13 Dec 2016
Date Written: December 8, 2016
Most of the existing empirical studies estimate the impact of fire sales either without the benefit of market prices from frequent trades, as with aircraft sales, or without observing the prices received by distressed sellers, as with the sales of equity securities by mutual funds facing outflows. We study transactions where the selling firm sells minority equity stakes it holds in publicly-listed third parties. In these transactions, market prices from frequent trades in the shares of those third parties are available and the transaction prices received by the sellers are reported. We estimate the industry-adjusted distressed sale discount based on the four-week window to be about 8% while controlling for the liquidity of the shares sold. This discount magnitude is higher than the 4% estimated for forced sales of stocks by mutual funds without the benefit of observing transaction prices. The discount we estimate becomes 13-14% if the stake sold is more than 5% of the firm or if the stake is sold as a block. Prices recover after the distressed sale.
Keywords: Fire Sale, Liquidity, Distressed Sale, Price Recovery
JEL Classification: G30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation