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Diversification, Ownership and Control of Swedish Corporations

John Doukas (), Martin Holmen and Nickolaos G. Travlos

European Financial Management, 2002, vol. 8, issue 3, 281-314

Abstract: We study the short‐ and long‐term valuation effects of Swedish takeovers. Using a sample of 93 bidding firms that acquired 101 targets between 1980 and 1995, we find that diversifying acquisitions lead to a negative market reaction and deterioration of the operating performance of the bidder. Announcement and performance gains in each of the three years following the acquisition occur only when bidders expand their core rather than their peripheral lines of business. Our findings suggest that focused acquisitions lead to greater synergies and operating efficiencies than diversifying acquisitions. Intra‐group acquisitions, however, show that bidders do not realise significant gains whether they adopt diversifying or focusing investment strategies by purchasing firms controlled by the Wallenberg and SHB conglomerate groups. Intra‐group targets realize significant gains regardless bidder’s investment strategy. Finally, the evidence does not support the view that intra‐conglomerate acquisitions are associated with expropriation of minority shareholders. However, they appear to enhance the control rights of large shareholders of the bidding firm.

Date: 2002
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