Agency Problems and Cash Savings from Equity Issuance
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I examine the effect of ownership structure on firms' propensities to save the proceeds of a share issuance as cash. Specifically, I focus on changes in cash savings at the time of a seasoned equity offering (SEO), a moment at which the firm experiences a large inflow of cash, to determine whether ownership structures such as managerial blockholdings or the presence of institutional investors materially affect firms' decisions regarding their level of cash savings. I find that firms with managerial blockholders are more inclined to save share issuance proceeds as cash, relative to firms with outside blockholders or no blockholders present. This finding could be interpreted as consistent with either managerial entrenchment or incentive alignment, so I distinguish between these competing forces by examining SEO announcement returns. The market's reaction to SEO announcements when managerial blockholders are present is significantly worse on average when the firm has excess cash, lending support to the entrenchment explanation. I also find that firms with greater total institutional ownership save more cash from equity issuance, which is consistent with the theory that greater firm monitoring allows optimal corporate cash holdings to increase because shareholders are less concerned about potential misuses of cash.