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Dual Class Discount, and the Channels of Extraction of Private Benefits

Ben Amoako-Adu, Vishaal Baulkaran and Brian F. Smith

A chapter in Advances in Financial Economics, 2014, vol. 16, pp 165-218 from Emerald Publishing Ltd

Abstract: Abstract Purpose The chapter investigates three channels through which private benefits are hypothesized to be extracted in dual class companies: excess executive compensation, excess capital expenditures and excess cash holdings. Design/methodology/approach With a propensity score matched sample of S&P 1500 dual class and single class companies with concentrated control, the chapter analyzes the relationship between the valuation discount of dual class companies and measures of excess executive compensation, excess capital expenditure and excess cash holdings. Findings Executives in dual class firms earn greater compensation relative to their counterparts in single class firms. This excess compensation is more pronounced when the executive is a family member. The value of dual class shares is discounted most when cash holdings and executive compensation of dual class are excessive. Excess compensation is highest for executives who are family members of dual class companies. The dual class discount is not related to excess capital expenditures. Originality/value The research shows that the discount in the value of dual class shares in relation to the value of closely controlled single class company shares is directly related to the channels through which controlling shareholder-managers can extract private benefits.

Keywords: Dual class discount; executive compensation; private benefits; family ownership and control (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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