Private benefits and minority shareholder expropriation : empirical evidence from IPOs of German family-owned firms

  • Our study examines the existence and the nature of private benefits of control in Germany. We do this by analyzing initial public offerings of founding-family owned firms and tracking their fate up to ten years following the IPO. Our sample includes a uniquely rich data set of 105 IPOs of family-owned firms floated from 1970 to 1991 on German stock exchanges. We find that, first, even ten years after the IPO, family owners, in the cross section, continue to exercise considerable control. Second, we show that there exist substantial private benefits of control in these firms and - to our understanding for the first time - we empirically measure what the nature of these private benefits really is. We also show that the separation of cash flow rights and voting rights via the issuance of dual-class shares is used to create controlling shareholder structures in order to preserve these private benefits. Third, we find a puzzling and significant underperformance of dual-class share IPOs, which can be explained by ex ante unanticipated expropriation of minority shareholders due to poor investor protection in Germany. This Version: 4th draft, November 2001 This paper has been presented at the European Financial Management Association 2001 Meeting in Lugano, the CEPR Conference "The Firm and its Stakeholders" in Courmayeur, the Fall 2000 WAFA Conference in Washington, D.C., the European Economic Association 2000 Conference in Bozen, the ABN AMRO International Conference on IPOs in Amsterdam, the SIRIF Conference on Corporate Governance in Edinburgh, the Financial Center Seminar at the Tinbergen Institute Rotterdam, and the G-Forum on Entrepreneurship Research in Vienna. Klassifikation: G14, G32, G15

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Author:Olaf Ehrhardt, Eric Nowak
Parent Title (German):Center for Financial Studies (Frankfurt am Main): CFS working paper series ; No. 2001,10
Series (Serial Number):CFS working paper series (2001, 10)
Document Type:Working Paper
Year of Completion:2001
Year of first Publication:2001
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2005/06/13
Tag:Control transfers; Dual-class shares; Initial Public Offerings; Investor protection; Ownership structures; Private benefits
Institutes:Wissenschaftliche Zentren und koordinierte Programme / Center for Financial Studies (CFS)
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 330 Wirtschaft
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht