Why Are Firms Sold? Evidence from Acquisitions of European Private Firms
54 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2015 Last revised: 4 Jun 2017
Date Written: May 1, 2016
We examine motives to sell private firms and provide insights into the sources of value creation from acquisitions of private targets. Using a novel dataset, we document that less profitable, highly leveraged private firms that tend to underinvest are likely to be sold. Further, these firms experience a high level of top management turnover around the period of the acquisitions and this turnover is sensitive to poor firm performance. Additionally, we find significant improvement in firm performance such as profitability and sales growth following the acquisitions. These firms also adjust their capital structure towards lower leverage. By and large, our results suggest that sales of private firms facilitate the transition of assets to a more efficient use.
Keywords: Sell-outs, Private firms, Efficient redeployment of assets, Mergers and acquisitions
JEL Classification: G30, G32, G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation