Learning About Internal Capital Markets from Corporate Spin-Offs
Posted: 27 Aug 2003
We examine the investment behavior of firms before and after being spun off from their parent companies. Their investment after the spin-off is significantly more sensitive to measures of investment opportunities (e.g., industry Tobin's Q or industry investment) than it is before the spin-off. Spin-offs tend to cut investment in low Q industries and increase investment in high Q industries. These changes are observed primarily in spin-offs of firms in industries unrelated to the parents' industries and in spin-offs where the stock market reacts favorably to the spin-off announcement. Our findings suggest that spin-offs may improve the allocation of capital.
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