G34 Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
Non-voting shares in France : an empirical analysis of the voting premium
Christian K. Muus
- It is the objective of this paper to determine the voting premium for French shares by comparing the values of voting and non-voting shares, and to analyze the value of the voting rights. The study uses data for 25 French companies which had both types of shares outstanding and traded on the stock exchange during the entire period from 1986 to 1996, or for some time during this interval. The average value of the voting premium is 51,35%.
The paper analyzes the reasons for this surprisingly high value by testing different hypotheses based on dividend differences, the revival) of the voting right, capitalization, shareholder structure, and the share of non-voting capital in total equity capital. The regressions show that the shareholder structure strongly influences the value of the voting premium.
A case study of the attempted takeover of Casino by Promodes shows that investors attach a much higher value to the voting right during relevant situations than at other tomes. Both companies involved had, at the time, two types of shares outstanding and listed. Furthermore the paper shows that non-voting shares have never played an important role in equity finance in France since the companies have different alternatives.
In an international cumparison, France is found to have the second highest voting premium, exceeded only by that of Italy. A probable reason is the low quality of the national accounting standards and the low level of minority shareholder protection.
Going public - going private : the case of VC-backed firms
- We investigate the decisions of listed firms to go private once again. We start by revealing that while a significant number of firms which go public is VC-backed, an overproportional share of these VC-backed firms go private later on (they stay on the exchange for an average of 8.5 years). We interpret this very robust pattern such that IPOs of VC-backed firms are to a large extent a temporary rather than a permanent feature of the corporate governance of these firms. We investigate various potential hypotheses why VCs actually seem to be able to bring marginal firms to the exchange by relating the going-private decisions to various characteristics of the IPO market as well as to VC characteristics. We find strong support for the certification ability of VCs: more experienced and reputable VCs are more able to bring marginal firms to public exchanges via an IPOs. These marginal firms backed-by more reputable and experienced VCs are more likely to go private later on. Hence, our analysis suggests that IPOs backed by experienced VCs are most likely to be a temporary rather than the final stage in the life of the portfolio firm. We find no support that reputable VCs underprice their IPO-exits more implying that they have no need to leave more money on the table to take the marginal firms public.