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Financial versus Strategic Buyers

Marc Martos-Vila, Matthew Rhodes-Kropf () and Jarrad Harford ()

Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 2019, vol. 54, issue 6, 2635-2661

Abstract: This article introduces the impact of debt misvaluation on merger and acquisition activity. We show the potential for debt misvaluation to help explain the shifting dominance of financial acquirers (private equity firms) relative to strategic acquirers (operating companies). Fundamental differences in governance and project coinsurance between the two types of acquirer would interact with debt misvaluation, resulting in variation in how assets are owned that depends on debt market conditions. We find support for our theory in merger data using a novel measure of debt misvaluation.

Date: 2019
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