Article | European Accounting Review | 2008

Governance and Merger Accounting: Evidence from Stock Price Reactions to Purchase versus Pooling

by Francisco de Asis Martinez-Jerez

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of corporate governance on investor reactions to accounting choice in the context of accounting for business combinations. Using a sample of 324 recent stock swap acquisitions I find that, contrary to practitioners' belief that capital markets penalize purchase accounting, the opposite appears to be true; there is a negative and significant differential market reaction of approximately 4 percent for acquiring firms that announce pooling transactions. This return differential declines to negative 8 percent for firms with ineffective corporate governance. These findings are consistent with capital markets interpreting the choice of purchase accounting as a signal of management's confidence in the likelihood of a successful merger. This signal is particularly relevant when corporate governance is considered ineffective.

Keywords: Financial Reporting; Financial Statements; Mergers and Acquisitions; Capital Markets; Stocks; Price; Corporate Governance;

Citation:

Martinez-Jerez, Francisco de Asis. "Governance and Merger Accounting: Evidence from Stock Price Reactions to Purchase versus Pooling." Art. 1. European Accounting Review 17, no. 1 (2008): 5–35. (Lead Article.)