The purpose of this study is to test the effect of the presence of outside blockholders on earnings management around seasoned equity offerings (SEOs).
Given that SEO can be one of motivations for earnings management, the authors examined the role of outside blockholders in monitoring the opportunistic behavior of managers around 50 SEOs realized by 45 French companies during the 2005-2009 period based on panel data model.
The authors found that issuing firms are used for upward earnings management during the pre-offering period. Indeed, the discretionary accruals know a continuous evolution during the three years preceding SEO and peaked in the year prior to the SEO. This result led us to examine the role played by the outside blockholders on earnings management. The results provided empirical evidence that the presence of outside blockholders in SEO firms is able to restrain earnings management practices.
This study allows to inform investors that French issuing firms are less overvalued in the presence of outside blockholders than in their absence. As a result, investors have an interest in participating in the SEO of firms that hold outside blockholders in their capital structure. Again, based on this study, users of financial statements can trust the reliability of the financial statements published by companies with outside blockholders because of the careful control exercised by these shareholders in the process of producing financial information. However, similar to how any research may suffer from some limitations, this work has two major limitations. Firstly, the authors examined the impact of outside blockholders on earnings management without distinguishing between the different types of blockholders (such as individual investors, pension funds, mutual funds, banks and trusts). Secondly, they have estimated the discretionary accruals by referring to a single model (Kothari et al., 2007). However, the use of two or more models for estimating accruals will lead to more robust results.
The empirical literature emphasizes the monitoring role played by these shareholders on earnings management. However, it does not distinguish between the circumstances when the monitors either lose or win from exaggerations. This research completes this lack by studying the impact of outside blockholders on earnings management around SEOs.
Jerbi Maatougui, A. and Halioui, K. (2019), "The effect of outside blockholders on earnings management around seasoned equity offerings in French listed companies on the SBF120", Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 449-467. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFRA-02-2018-0012
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