Do foreign investors exhibit a corporate governance disadvantage? An information asymmetry perspective
Date of Issue2010
College of Business (Nanyang Business School)
Although foreign equity ownership around the world has increased substantially over the last three decades, there is little evidence on the role of foreign ownership in the host country. Using a large sample of foreign partial acquisitions in the US from 1981 to 1999, we examine the determinants of foreign acquirers’ governance activities in US targets. We focus on the information asymmetries that foreign acquirers face in the US as a key determinant of their governance activities in US targets, and hypothesize that such information asymmetries provide them with weak incentives to engage in governance activities. Consistent with our hypothesis, we find that foreign acquirers whose countries share a common language and a common culture with the US are more likely to engage in post-acquisition governance activities than are other foreign acquirers. Moreover, the probability of foreign acquirers’ governance activities is positively related to their previous acquisition activities in the US, but negatively related to the physical distance from the targets and the difference in shareholder rights scores between the US and their home countries. Our results suggest that information asymmetries that foreign acquirers face in the host country are an important determinant of their governance activities in domestic targets.
Journal of international business studies
© 2010 Academy of International Business. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Journal of International Business Studies, Academy of International Business. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/jibs.2010.18].