Privatization and the Market for Corporate Control
38 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2001
Date Written: August 2004
The most important development in international corporate governance in the past 20 years has been the privatization of state-owned enterprises. There is evidence that privatization has resulted in improved firm performance but the source of this improvement is difficult to isolate. We argue that one of the most important results of privatization for corporate governance is the potential entry of those firms into the market for corporate control as targets and bidders, which can result in improved firm performance for numerous reasons. We document the magnitude and the wealth effects of the mergers of privatized firms, attempting to find every privatized firm that was either a target or a bidder in a merger. We find 52 privatized firms that subsequently become targets of takeovers and 90 privatized firms that became bidders in 341 mergers. In general, we find that privatized firms operate very much as non-privatized firms have in the market for corporate control. Target firms experience a 12 percent increase in equity value at the announcement of a merger. Bidding firms experience a positive but insignificant change in equity value at merger announcement. The results indicate that mergers result in net wealth creation for privatized firms and are indicative that one effect of privatization is wealth-creating mergers.
Keywords: Privatization, corporate control, mergers
JEL Classification: L33, G34, G38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation