Why do over-deviated firms from target leverage undertake foreign acquisitions?

Yousry Ahmed, Tamer Elshandidy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)
    8 Downloads (Pure)


    This paper examines how deviation from firms’ target leverage influences their decisions on undertaking foreign acquisitions. Using a sample of 5,746 completed bids by UK acquirers from 1987 to 2012, we observe that over-deviated firms are more likely to acquire foreign targets. Consistent with co-insurance theory, we find that over-deviated firms engage in foreign acquisition deals to relieve their financial constraints and to mitigate their financial distress risk. We also note that foreign acquisitions enhance over-deviated firms’ value and performance, measured by Tobin’s q and return on assets (ROA) respectively. These findings support the view that over-deviated firms pursue the most value-enhancing acquisitions. Overall, this paper suggests that co-insurance effects, value creation and performance improvements are the main incentives for over-deviated firms’ involvement in foreign acquisitions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)309-327
    JournalInternational Business Review
    Issue number2
    Early online date30 Aug 2017
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


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