Does Takeover Protection Matter? Evidence from a Natural Experiment
53 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2016 Last revised: 15 May 2018
Date Written: April 2, 2018
Internal slack is a primary contributor to agency problems. As such, shareholders’ updated valuation of internal slack reveals their revised assessment of potential agency conflicts. We study how the value of internal cash changes following state antitakeover regulation events. After carefully addressing the critiques of such experiments, we find that the value of cash actually increases, on average, following antitakeover law implementation, but there is considerable heterogeneity in how the value changes. Firms more susceptible to quiet-life agency problems show no increases in the market-assessed value of internal slack. Conversely, cash appreciates in companies where takeover protection helps bond important commitments with major counterparties. These findings hold across different measures of antitakeover protection events..
Keywords: Cash value; Business combination laws; Takeover defenses; Natural experiments
JEL Classification: G30; G32; G34; K22; L14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation