Vlerick Repository

The Vlerick Repository is a searchable Open Access publication database, containing the complete archive of research output (articles, books, cases, doctoral dissertations,…) written by Vlerick faculty and researchers and preserved by the Vlerick Library.

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Research Output
Business Research Projects
  • The impact of ownership traits on acquisition behavior and performance

    Spolverato, Gianni (2023)
    Context This doctoral thesis delves into examining ownership traits and their impact on corporate acquisition behavior, with a primary emphasis on family-owned and private equity-owned firms. The research investigates the decision-making process of these block holders when investing in firms, particularly the dilemma they face in choosing between monitoring efforts to maximize shareholder value and pursuing private motives. The studies build on the determining factors that influence each type of owner's inclination towards value maximization, considering their unique identity, correlated private motives, and the relative significance of these motives compared to potential financial gains they might forego in pursuing private benefits. Aim To investigate how shareholder identity affects the acquisition behavior and performance of firms. Studies Chapter one explores how private family firms select their targets, focusing on diversification, internationalization, and innovation in their acquisition strategies. Using Behavioral Agency Theory, the study argues that these firms tend to prioritize social and emotional wealth (SEW) over purely financial gains. The paper hypothesizes that this tendency leads family firms to approach target selection cautiously, for instance, leading towards an aversion to acquiring highly innovative or cross-border targets. In chapter two, the focus shifts to the influence of private equity (PE) investors on publicly listed firms, particularly in the context of Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A). The chapter suggests that the motivation to create value through M&A decisions depends on whether the PE firm's investment occurs before or after the firm's initial public offering (IPO). Chapter three addresses the agency cost associated with surplus capital in the PE industry and its implications for buy-and-build strategies. As the industry accumulates an increasing pool of unallocated capital, PE firms face mounting pressure to deploy it judiciously. The study contends that implementing buy-and-build strategies, which involve making add-on acquisitions in portfolio companies, can effectively channel excessive levels of unutilized capital. Findings The first chapter underscores that family-owned firms prioritize SEW over financial gains in target selection for acquisitions, resulting in a conservative approach. This preference is particularly pronounced when led by family CEOs and founders. In the second chapter, the study reveals that post-IPO PE investors enhance M&A performance, especially with greater board representation. In contrast, pre-IPO investors are associated with lower returns, particularly when they exert stronger board influence and the firm's stock liquidity is lower. Finally, the third chapter addresses the pressure faced by PE firms to efficiently deploy surplus capital, introducing the buy-and-build strategy as a response. It finds that this pressure can lead to more investments in add-on acquisitions and a larger propensity for those deals to be unrelated to the platform's core industry. Moreover, buyout returns tend to be lower for buyout targets owned by pressured PE firms.
  • How to get your employer to invest in your training and development

    Jordaan, Barney (2022)
    If you need to ask your employer to invest in your development, our white paper explains how to go about it. Because learning new approaches doesn’t just benefit you – it benefits your employer too.
  • Brand religions. Is it time to choose yours?

    Goedertier, Frank (2022)
    If you’re taking your first steps into brand management, it can be challenging to even know how to start. And there can be a temptation to try to embrace all approaches to brand strategy – or switch between them as you develop your own brand identity. By thinking of branding as a religion, organisations can find focus externally and internally – which can drive business success. The big question is, which religion will be best for your organisation? This white paper gives organisations the ability to consider clearly which brand religion may work for them, and choose a principal approach that provides focus for the rest of the organisation.
  • Building purpose-driven organisations. The new frontier

    Dewettinck, Koen (2022)
    Purpose can provide a North Star for an organisation – a consistent point of reference in an otherwise changeable business environment. It also creates certainty about what an organisation stands for and wants to achieve. In this white paper you'll learn how to become a purpose-built organisation that measurably improves business outcomes.

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