Cash Windfalls and Acquisitions
50 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2016
Date Written: March, 2016
This article studies the effect of cash windfalls on the acquisition policy of companies. As identification I use a German tax reform that permitted firms to sell their equity stakes tax-free. Companies that could realize a cash windfall by selling equity stakes see an increase in the probability of acquiring another company by 19 percent. I find that these additional acquisitions destroy firm value. Following the tax reform, affected firms experience a decrease of 1.2 percentage points in acquisition announcement returns. These effects are stronger for larger cash windfalls. My findings are consistent with the free cash flow theory.
JEL Classification: G30, G31, G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation