• The performance of acquisitions by high default risk bidders

      Bruyland, Evy; Lasfer, Meziane; De Maeseneire, Wouter; Song, Wei (Journal of Banking and Finance, 2019)
      We investigate the takeover strategies of high default risk acquirers and their value impact. We find that these bidders select bigger, less profitable and unrelated targets, pursue transactions during recessions, and pay with shares by offering target shareholders high premiums. Their long-term buy-and-hold returns are extremely negative, and reflect fundamentally their substantial drop in profitability combined with high leverage. We show that the well-established long-run under performance of acquiring firms is largely driven by this sub-set of acquirers. The results are similar when we use alternative measures of default risk and performance, and a global sample of non-US bidders.
    • The risk effects of acquiring distressed firms

      Bruyland, Evy; De Maeseneire, Wouter (Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, 2016)
      Existing research shows that bidder default risk increases following acquisitions due to a rise in post-acquisition leverage and managerial risk-taking actions offsetting the potential for asset diversification. This study examines whether the risk effects of acquiring distressed targets are fundamentally different and investigates possible explanations for any dissimilarities. Bidders often acquire relatively smaller distressed targets in domestic and related industries and have a higher initial target stake and more financial flexibility, thereby minimizing risk exposure. Controlling for several characteristics of bidder investment behaviour in both types of deals, however, we find that the increase in bidder default risk is substantially larger when acquiring distressed firms.