Corporate Governance in the US and Global Settings: Volume 17

Table of contents

(12 chapters)
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List of Contributors

Pages vii-viii
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Purpose

We examine what changes, if any, firms are making to their capital structure around the time they cross-list because both of these affect a firm’s corporate governance. Cross-listing requires firms to follow SEC rules and regulations, which helps improve the firm governance. A firm’s capital structure, specifically the use of debt, is an effective way to mitigate the conflict between managers and shareholders by reducing the cash available to managers. We examine whether these governance mechanisms are complimentary or being used as substitutes by cross-listing firms.

Methodology

We compare the capital structures of Level II and Level III cross-listing firms from both civil law and common law countries in the three years before and the three years after cross-listing.

Findings

We show firms are significantly reducing their debt to equity ratio after the cross-listing. This reduction is shown for both Level II and Level III firms; however, it is primarily seen in civil law countries.

Practical implications

The corporate governance improvement firms recognize by cross-listing is partially offset by the reduced use of debt after the cross-listing. These governance characteristics may be especially relevant for shareholders in Level III cross-listings because those firms are actually raising addition cash.

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Abstract

This study uses cross-border mergers as a test of the ability of foreign directors to provide effective strategic advising. We find that firms with foreign directors on their boards are more likely to engage in cross-border mergers, pursue a higher number of cross-border mergers, and invest more in those mergers. We further determine that firms with foreign directors are more likely to undertake nondiversifying mergers, enjoy friendly mergers, and acquire privately held targets. Moreover, we find that firms with foreign directors have higher announcement period returns and pay less for their cross-border targets.

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Abstract

Many organizations around the world currently are facing board diversity issues and challenges. Hence, this empirical paper investigates the relationship between board diversity and firm’s financial performance. We use a sample of 35 companies from five countries in Southeast Europe (Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Greece) for the period between 2008 and 2012 to find that, on average, companies with well-educated board members are more profitable and overvalued on the market. When running the regression again to test the levels of heterogeneity, we also find that the companies with more women on board tend to be overvalued on the market, while those with more foreigners on board are subject of undervaluation. The paper mostly contributes to the literature on corporate governance and board diversity. First, we postulate the impact of each of the board diversity variables on the financial performance and then show the extent of this impact and its economic interpretation. Our findings have important practitioners’ implications for corporate regulators and policy-makers since the demonstrated positive impact of the well-educated board members on firm’s financial performance gives a new impetus in building a corporate strategy that will intend to engage more people holding PhD on board.

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Abstract

We study the events that motivate CEOs to underinvest in R&D long-term projects (CEO myopia). Based on the existing literature in earnings management and agency theory, myopia is likely to become more problematic under five circumstances: when the CEO nears retirement (the CEO horizon problem), R&D projects have very long time horizons (the project horizon problem), the firm’s financial health is deteriorating (the cover-up problem), ownership structure is heavily weighted toward insider owners (minority owner oppression problem), and when the threat of hostile takeover increases (the entrenchment problem). We setup a dynamic simulation model in which rational CEOs maximize the total value of their bonus compensation over their tenure. Our findings related to the five circumstances are consistent with the extant literature. However, we found an unexpected stable, nonlinear (inverted U-shaped) relationship between CEO tenure and R&D investment. We discuss the theoretical implications of our model and offer suggestions for future research.

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Abstract

We investigate the impact of the creation of a new incentive structure for CEOs resulting from firms introducing equity-based compensation (EBC) as a means of paying top executives on policy decisions. Contrasting a firm’s stock and operating performance in the period the CEO is compensated with EBC (EBC period) and the period when EBC is not a component of the same executive’s pay (No EBC period) leads us to conclude that awarding stock options and restricted shares to executives is not associated with improved firm performance. However, firms initiate EBC after superior performance suggesting that CEOs are awarded compensation in this form as a reward for past performance. Firms have higher unsystematic and total risk levels in the EBC period suggesting EBC influences CEOs’ risk-taking behavior and reduces agency costs arising from managerial risk aversion. While there is no change in R&D expenses and cash ratios there is a decrease in capital expenditures in the EBC period, which is consistent with reduced overinvestment agency costs. Finally, leverage and payout ratios are similar in both periods implying that firms’ financing policy is not influenced by changes in CEOs’ compensation structure.

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Abstract

We empirically investigate the hypothesis that the less transparent (more difficult to value) the target’s assets are the more likely it is that the acquiring firm can obtain higher short- and long-term returns. We analyze a sample of 1,538 friendly acquisitions partitioned in two separate dimensions: acquisitions of public versus private firms, and acquisitions of a firm’s assets versus acquisitions of a firm’s assets and its management. Using a sample of (nondiversifying) real estate transactions with a public REIT as the acquirer, we find that acquisitions of public firms have insignificant short-term abnormal returns. Acquisitions of private targets have positive and significant short-term abnormal returns. The acquirer’s abnormal returns are higher in both cases when the transactions involve acquisition of the target firm’s management. We find parallel results when analyzing the acquirer’s Q over the merger year and the three following years. Our conclusions are robust to the type of financing (cash, stock, or a combination) used in the acquisition.

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Abstract

We investigate institutional investors’ trading behavior of acquiring firm stocks surrounding merger activities for the period 1992–2001. We label investment companies and independent investment advisors as active institutions and banks, nonbank trusts, and insurance companies as passive institutions. We analyze the trading behavior of active and passive institutions surrounding merger announcements and their eventual resolution. Our results indicate that active institutions significantly increase their holdings of acquiring firm stocks for mergers with higher announcement period abnormal return and this increase is more pronounced for stock mergers than cash mergers. Active institutions display preference for stock proposals at the merger announcement on the basis of their prior beliefs and this is explained by the “overreaction phenomenon.” However, they update their beliefs between announcement and final resolution as more information arrives into the market. Finally, active institutions appear to correct their overreaction behavior by displaying their greater preference for cash proposals as compared to stock proposals at the quarter of eventual outcome. The trading behavior of passive institutions suggests that these institutions disregard the market response of merger announcement in trading acquiring firm stocks at the announcement quarter. The passive institutions gradually update their beliefs and utilize the information released at the announcement in rebalancing their portfolios at the final resolution.

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DOI
10.1108/S1569-3732201417
Publication date
2014-11-14
Book series
Advances in Financial Economics
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78441-292-0
Book series ISSN
1569-3732