Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Shareholder Activism by Hedge Funds in a Concentrated Ownership Environment: an Empirical Study for Germany

Stadler, Maximilian
zu Knyphausen-Aufseß, Dodo
Volume: 8
Number: 1
Pages: 58 - 82
ISSN-Print: 1460-6712
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2015
Keywords: Corporate governance; Event study; Hedge funds; Ownership structure; Shareholder activism; Family shareholders; Concentrated ownership; Germany; Hedge fund activism; Abnormal returns; Large shareholders; Major shareholders

This study seeks to extend hedge fund activism research to a country where the ownership structure is dominated by large major shareholders. Until now, studies about hedge fund activism mainly treated countries with dispersed ownership structures. Using an event study with 133 German hedge fund events between January 2000 and April 2008, we found that hedge fund activism shows significant positive short–term abnormal returns, which do not hold in the long term. It showed that family shareholders have a significant influence on the success of hedge fund activism. Moreover, it could be measured that hedge fund activism is especially successful if it tries to force the company to sell assets. This study provides empirical support for the influence of the ownership structure on the success of hedge fund activism. It indicates that large major shareholders impact hedge fund activism.