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Volume 33 - Numéro 2

December 2012

The Performance of French LBO Firms: New data and new results - 15 December 2012

Gaspar, José-Miguel

This paper investigates the operating performance of French targets of Leveraged Buy-Out (LBO) transactions during the 1995-2005 period. To benchmark LBO performance, I use a propensity score methodology to find a suitable non-LBO matching pair. The study finds that after the deal, the representative LBO firm exhibits higher operating returns of 4% to 5% relative to its matching control. This finding seems mostly due to increased gross margins, productivity gains, and working capital efficiency gains. These findings are not particular to a certain type of targets and are unchanged if I use the industry of the LBO firm as a benchmark.

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Ownership, control and market liquidity - 15 December 2012

Edith Ginglinger et Jacques Hamon

We examine how ownership concentration and the separation of ownership and control affect secondary-market liquidity in France. We find that firms with a large insider blockholder exhibit significantly lower liquidity. However, different methods of enhancing control affect liquidity in different ways. Pyramid structures impair market liquidity. Double voting right shares, a French specific means of control enhancement rewarding long-term shareholders and restraining insiders from trading their shares, lead to increased liquidity, especially for family firms. Our results suggest that by using double voting rights to enhance their control, a transparent decoupling mechanism, rather than pyramids, an opaque decoupling mechanism, blockholders offer higher secondary-market liquidity to outside investors.

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Corporate Risk Management and Information Disclosure - 15 December 2012

Emmanuelle Gabillon et Jean-Claude Gabillon

In this paper, we propose a theory linking corporate risk management, information disclosure and cost of capital. We show that the hedging strategy of a value-maximizing firm can be an instrument of its disclosure policy. We emphasize that optimal hedging strategy does not systematically eliminate all risks but distinguishes between undesired risks that have to be hedged because they are a source of noise, and risks that should not be eliminated because they have an informational content. We show that optimal risk management, by eliminating noise, reduces the variability of the firm’s cost of capital, thereby creating value. Moreover, having shown that optimal hedging policy depends on whether hedge transactions are disclosed or not, we then discuss the optimality of disclosure requirements in hedge accounting standards.

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