The Characteristics of Bidders

Posted: 20 Jul 1998

See all articles by Henri Servaes

Henri Servaes

London Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: August, 1995


This paper examines the characteristics of firms that complete acquisitions over the period 1972-1993. Successful acquirors tend to be larger, they have poor investment opportunities, high cash balances and high levels of free cash flow when compared to a sample of control firms. They also have higher leverage and asset growth rates than control firms. Insider ownership has a negative impact on the probability of becoming a bidder for low levels of insider ownership, but a positive impact for high levels of insider ownership. The results are stronger for acquisitions completed during the 1980s and 1990s and for acquisitions where cash is used as the form of payment. These findings are broadly consistent with arguments advanced by Jensen (1986), Roll (1986), Myers and Majluf (1984), and Stulz (1988).

JEL Classification: G34

Suggested Citation

Servaes, Henri, The Characteristics of Bidders (August, 1995). Available at SSRN:

Henri Servaes (Contact Author)

London Business School ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom

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