Corporate governance and the long-run performance of firms issuing seasoned equity: An Australian study

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Conference Proceeding
AFAANZ 2009 Proceedings website, 2009, pp. 1 - 41
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Corporate governance has been propelled to the forefront of contemporary business thinking by a string of high profile corporate collapses and dramatic regulatory responses in the United States, Australia and in other countries as well. A particularly extensive body of research has emerged surrounding the relationship between corporate governance and firm performance. We combine the governance literature with evidence on the long-term underperformance of firms issuing seasoned equity to examine the benefits of corporate governance in a setting where it is more likely to matter. That is, we address the question, Does good corporate governance mitigate post-issue underperformance? For a broad sample of Australian seasoned equity offerings and employing a comprehensive, self-constructed governance database, we first demonstrate that issuing firms substantially underperform a variety of benchmarks over the long term, confirming similar findings in the existing literature. We then find evidence that better-governed firms do not experience the same degree of post-issue underperformance. Our findings, which are robust to a variety of estimation methods and econometric specifications, are consistent with the windows of opportunity hypothesis and with equity raisings being an important channel through which better corporate governance can improve future performance.
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