Shareholder Agreements and Firm Value: Evidence from French Listed Firms

Francois Belot
2008 Social Science Research Network  
In listed companies, some shareholders can be signatories to agreements that govern their relations. This paper investigates the effects of such agreements on the valuation of firms. I use a sample of French firms that is well suited for my analysis insofar as French law requires the disclosure of the shareholder agreements' clauses. In line with previous literature, a negative relationship between firm value and the dispersion of voting rights across major shareholders is observed. However,
more » ... existence of a shareholder agreement tends to offset this negative effect. This countervailing effect is more pronounced when a "concerted action" provision is in force and/or the contracting shareholders are of the same type. Shareholder agreements thus appear as efficient coordination mechanisms rather than expropriation mechanisms. Abstract In listed companies, some shareholders can be signatories to agreements that govern their relations. This paper investigates the effects of such agreements on the valuation of firms. I use a sample of French firms that is well suited for my analysis insofar as French law requires the disclosure of the shareholder agreements' clauses. In line with previous literature, a negative relationship between firm value and the dispersion of voting rights across major shareholders is observed. However, the existence of a shareholder agreement tends to offset this negative effect. This countervailing effect is more pronounced when a "concerted action" provision is in force and/or the contracting shareholders are of the same type. Shareholder agreements thus appear as efficient coordination mechanisms rather than expropriation mechanisms.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.1100986 fatcat:hw4rlk2avrbrljrafc35ytg7pe