Asset Sales, Firm Performance, and the Agency Costs of Managerial Discretion
Posted: 10 Aug 1999
Date Written: June 1994
We argue that management sells assets when doing so provides the cheapest funds to pursue its objectives rather than for operating efficiency reasons alone. This hypothesis suggests that (1) firms selling assets have high leverage and/or poor performance, and (2) the stock market discounts asset sales proceeds retained by the selling firm. In support of this hypothesis, we find that the typical firm in our sample performs poorly before the sale and that the average stock- price reaction to asset sales is positive only when the proceeds are paid out.
JEL Classification: G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation