Using a unique dataset including all rights issues of new shares and other equity-like securities announced by Italian listed banks between 1989 and 2014, and exploiting the ideal setting provided by the Italian Banking Law, which allows for listed co-operative banks, we test if the ‘one head-one vote’ principle of co-operative banks and the ‘one share-one vote’ voting system of joint stock banks imply different costs of equity. Our empirical results, obtained using an event-study methodology, regressions and matching estimators, support our research hypothesis that the one head-one vote principle makes it more difficult raising new capital compared to one share-one vote principle, and contribute to the literature on demutualization and cooperative hybrids.
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Constraints on profit distributions and the 1H1V principle are the two main characteristics of co-operatives (Becchetti et al. 2014).
The threat of a hostile takeover is not completely absent since the Italian Law allows takeovers on PBs, but the effectiveness of the bid is subordinated to the transformation of the CB into a JSB by the target’s shareholders.
If the company shares are already traded in the secondary market, then the issue of additional securities is known as a ‘Seasoned Equity Offering’ (SEO). The SEO discount is the difference between the closing stock prices during the last trading day prior to the announcement and its SEO offer price while the SEO underpricing is the difference between the SEO offer price and the closing stock price of the first trading day after the announcement. There are different SEO offer types (i.e. accelerated book-built offering, bought deal, fully marketed offering, competitive bid, privately negotiated, rights offer et cetera) according to the target market and the speed of offer. Our paper investigates the rights offer as the new shares are sold to existing shareholders (independently of the speed of offer). In rights offers, current shareholders are given the option to buy newly issued shares on a pro rata basis, usually at a discount to the current market price of the stock. If there are unsubscribed shares, then the overallotment option offers to the current shareholders the right to buy additional shares on pro rata before they are sold to external investors. The US market has been traditionally dominated by fully marketed SEOs while the European continent is characterized by rights offers.
We deem important mentioning this strand of literature, but we do not discuss it in depth as doing so would take us too far afield with respect to the central topic of our work.
While the CAR(− 1, + 30) covers a long event window and is possibly influenced by confounding effects, we retain this figure since often some relevant details of the rights issue are made available to the market several days after the announcement day. Moreover, in the event-study literature long time span are not uncommon (i.e. Hauser et al. 2003).
We have also made additional tests considering a bootstrap approach. Results remain qualitatively unchanged and are not reported for brevity.
We distinguish rights issues upon payment from those totally or partially for free because the market reaction to their announcement could be different. A free issue of share is, de facto, a stock split and the literature has documented positive abnormal returns around announcements and ex-split days (Grinblatt et al. 1984; Lakonishok and Vermaelen 1986; Lamoureux and Poon 1987; Ikenberry et al. 1996), while the reaction to stock issues upon payment is mainly negative in fully marketed SEOs or mixed in rights offers (see Sect. 2.2). Different market reactions are also observed between SEOs and convertible debt offerings (Loncarski et al. 2006).
Results using other event windows are available upon request.
Of course, legal forms (PBs vs. JSBs) are not randomly assigned. In using nearest-neighbour matching and propensity-score matching, we thus assume that all the variables affecting both the legal form and CARs are included in the model, so that the outcomes can be considered conditionally independent of the treatment (or at least that, after controlling for bank characteristics, residual individual-specific idiosyncrasies are negligible).
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Ferretti, R., Pattitoni, P. & Castelli, A. Security-voting structure and equity financing in the banking sector: ‘one head-one vote’ versus ‘one share-one vote’. J Manag Gov 23, 1063–1097 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10997-019-09451-7
- Agency costs
- Corporate governance
- Corporate control
- Seasoned Equity Offering