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사기업 인수합병 효과의 재검증

  • 최봉균 한국자산평가 과장
  • 김도성 서강대학교 경영전문대학원 교수
  • 이영주 서강대학교 경영전문대학원 부교수
사기업 인수합병 효과는 상장기업을 인수합병할 때 보다 비상장기업을 인수합병할 때 인수기업의 합병공시 효과가 더 긍정적으로 나타나는 현상을 지칭한다. 본 연구의 목적은 선행 연구에 비해 최근의 합병 사례를 이용하는 한편 표본의 구성에 있어 선행연구들의 단점을 보완하여 국내 인수합병 시장에 사기업 인수합병 효과가 존재하는 가를 재검증하는 것이다. 사기업 인수합병 효과에 대한 선행 연구는 대부분 비상장기업 합병 사례에서 우회상장을 어떻게 처리하였는지 명확히 밝히지 않고 있는데 우회상장이 표본에 포함되었다면 사기업 인수합병 효과가 왜곡될 수 있다. 분석 결과 사기업 인수합병 효과가 존재한다는 선행연구의 주장은 비상장기업 합병 사례에 우회상장이 포함될 경우에만 지지되는 것으로 나타난다. 비상장기업 합병 사례에서 우회상장을 제거할 경우에는 피합병기업의 상장 여부는 합병기업의 합병공시 효과에 유의한 차이를 초래하지 않는다. 반면 우회상장의 대상이 된 상장기업은 공시일 전후에 다른 형태의 합병 사례에 비해 월등히 높은 초과수익률을 기록한다. 인수합병 기업의 합병 공시 효과에 영향을 미치는 제반 요인을 통제한 다변량 회귀분석에서도 피합병기업의 상장 여부는 유의한 영향을 미치지 못하지만 우회상장 여부는 유의한 영향을 미치는 것으로 나타난다. 이러한 결과는 국내 인수합병 시장에 사기업 인수합병 효과는 존재하지 않는다는 점을 시사한다.
인수합병; 합병공시 효과; 합병기업 기업가치; 사기업 인수합병; 우회상장;Mergers And Acquisitions; M&A Announcement Effect; Acquirers’ Returns; Privately Held Targets; Backdoor Listing

Revisiting to Acquirers’ Returns on Mergers of Privately Held Targets

  • Bongkyun Choi
  • Doseong Kim
  • Youngjoo Lee
The literature presents evidence that bidding firms acquiring privately held targets earn positive and higher abnormal returns on M&A announcements than those acquiring publicly traded firms (Chang, 1998; Hansen and Lott, 1996; Fuller, Netter, and Stegemoller, 2002; Moeller, Schlingemann, and Stulz, 2004; Faccio, McConnell, and Stolin, 2006). Faccio et al. (2006) refer to this phenomenon as the “listing effect” in acquirers’ announcement period stock returns. Some literature on the Korean data claims that the listing effect on acquirers’ returns is also found in the Korean stock market (Kim and Seo, 2000; Oh and Song, 2008; Jung, 2010). For example, using the sample of merger announcements in the Korean stock market over the 1980 to 2007 period, Jung (2010) examines the cumulative abnormal returns (CAR) of acquirers’ stocks for 10 days from -5 to 5 surrounding announcements of merger deals and finds that bidders acquiring a publicly traded company have an average CAR of 0.13%, which is not statistically different from zero, whereas bidders acquiring a privately held company have an average CAR of 3.71%, which is significantly different from zero. Jung (2010) also shows that the average CARs of the two groups are significantly different from each other at the 1% level. Chang (1998) provides three explanations for the listing effect on acquirers’ returns: the limited competition hypothesis, the monitoring hypothesis, and the information hypothesis. The limited competition hypothesis states that if the competition for private firms in the takeover market is limited, bidders can experience positive abnormal stock returns because the likelihood of underpayment is high. The monitoring hypothesis is related to the concentrated ownership of private firms. Private firms are typically held by a small number of shareholders. Therefore, when a bidder acquires a private firm through common stock exchange, the shareholders of the private target firm can become outside blockholders after the merger and may then become active monitors who contribute positively to firm value. Lastly, the information hypothesis explains the listing effect on acquirers’ returns through the mitigation of information asymmetry. The relatively few shareholders of a private target firm have incentives to actively assess the prospect of a bidding company, and their willingness to hold the shares of the bidder conveys favorable information about the bidder to the market. The main purpose of this paper is to revisit the listing effect on acquirers’ returns in the Korean stock market because prior studies on this issue do not explicitly separate the effect of backdoor listing (reverse takeover) from the listing effect on acquirers’ returns. Backdoor listing means that a private firm merges with a listed firm and becomes public without going through an official IPO process. Many papers report that listed firms engaging in backdoor listing experience positive abnormal returns upon the announcement of the deal (Gleason, Rosenthal, and Wiggins, 2005: Park, Park and Bae, 2009; Kang, 2009; Kang and Kim, 2009). We refer to this phenomenon as the backdoor listing effect. In addition, Gleason et al. (2005) and Park et al. (2009) find that listed firms in backdoor listing are typically small and poor performers. Even though a private firm essentially acquires a listed firm in the backdoor listing process, on the surface, the listed firm survives and maintains its listing status throughout the merger process. When Korean listed firms file disclosure documents regarding backdoor listings with the Korean financial supervisory [Please check whether this should be “Korean financial supervisory.”], they classify themselves as acquirers and the essentially acquiring private firms as targets. Therefore, unless researchers pay particular attention, it is likely that backdoor listings are mistakenly treated as the mergers of private firms with public firms. If the sample of mergers of private firms includes backdoor listings, the results on the listing effect on acquirers’ returns can be misleading. To address this concern, our study manually identifies backdoor listings among merger announcements and investigates the listing effect on acquirers’ returns with and without the backdoor listing effect. We find that the cumulative abnormal returns are higher for acquirers of private targets than for acquirers of public targets only when we include backdoor listings in the sample of mergers of private firms. Excluding backdoor listings, we do not find that the listing status of target firms plays a significant role in acquirers’ returns in merger announcements. Using multivariate tests to control various firm and deal characteristics, we also find that a target firm’s listing status does not affect acquirers’ returns, whereas backdoor listing has a significant impact on acquirers’ returns. We perform robustness tests, considering the change in the regulation on the disclosure of backdoor listing and the monitoring effect of new blockholders, and find that the result of the non-existence of the listing effect remains the same. Therefore, the findings of our study suggest that the backdoor listing effect may have resulted in the erroneous conclusion by prior studies that a listing effect on acquirers’ returns exists in the Korean stock market.