Is an M&A Self‐Dealing? Evidence on International and Domestic Acquisitions and CEO Compensation
26 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2020
Date Written: October-November 2020
We examine the effect of international acquisitions on CEO compensation for US firms from 1995 to 2016 using both domestic acquisition and no acquisition firms as benchmarks. We find that acquisitions lead to a greater increase in CEO compensation (especially incentive‐based compensation), which is consistent with agency theory and inconsistent with stewardship or reputation theory. We also find that international acquisitions lead to a greater increase in CEO incentive‐based compensation than domestic acquisitions, supporting matching theory given that international acquisitions are larger and more complex to manage. Additionally, we document that CEO tenure has a positive effect on CEO compensation, whereas firm relatedness has a negative effect on post‐acquisition CEO compensation. This is the first study of its type based on comprehensive data, and it contributes to our understanding of the role of international and domestic acquisitions in CEO compensation.
Keywords: agency theory, CEO compensation, corporate complexity, corporate diversification, global mergers and acquisitions, multinational corporations
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