To investigate CEOs' incentives to liquidate their firms, we examine the effects of insider ownership and compensation in stock options on 30 voluntary liquidation decisions by industrial firms in the period 1975–1986. We find that liquidation decisions are influenced by CEO incentive plans and increase shareholder value. Firms with more outside board members, smaller market-to-book ratios, and attempts by outsiders to gain control are more likely to be liquidated. Although few top executives of liquidating firms subsequently take comparable jobs, at least 41% of CEOs who downsize are made better off by liquidation.
Journal of Financial Economics – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 1998
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