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Director trading, or lack thereof, and acquiring firm performance: Evidence from Australian mergers and acquisitions

Md Mosharraf Hossain (Accounting and Finance, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia)
Richard Arthur Heaney (Accounting and Finance, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia)
SzeKee Koh (Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore, Singapore)

Accounting Research Journal

ISSN: 1030-9616

Publication date: 5 September 2016

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address the question of whether acquiring firm directors trading, prior to a merger or acquisition (M&A) announcement, predicts the share market reaction on M&A announcement.

Design/methodology/approach

Event studies and cross-section regression were used in this analysis.

Findings

This paper finds that acquiring firms with no director trading and firms with net director purchases in the 12 months prior to the M&A announcement earn positive abnormal returns. It is also found that share market reaction to M&A announcements is considerably larger for acquiring firms whose directors do not trade relative to those companies with directors who do trade over the prior 12 months. This director non-trading result is further born out in regression analysis.

Research limitations/implications

The absence of pre-M&A announcement director trading could reflect lower agency costs for the acquiring firm and this might explain to stronger announcement day effect for this group of firms.

Practical implications

The fact that directors choose not to trade in their shares prior to a M&A transaction appears to be viewed as good news by the market.

Social implications

Director trading is value relevant for the acquiring firm and so it is critical that director trading is transparent.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors' knowledge, this question has not been addressed in the literature before, particularly the finding for firms with no director trading in the period prior to the M&A announcement.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper has been adapted from research emanating from Md Mosharraf Hossain’s doctoral dissertation.

Citation

Hossain, M.M., Heaney, R.A. and Koh, S. (2016), "Director trading, or lack thereof, and acquiring firm performance: Evidence from Australian mergers and acquisitions", Accounting Research Journal, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 332-347. https://doi.org/10.1108/ARJ-12-2014-0109

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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