Unlocking value: Equity carve outs as strategic real options

E. Perotti, S. Rossetto*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Equity carve outs, the partial listing of a corporate subsidiary, appear to be transitory arrangements, usually dissolved within a few years by either a complete sale or a buy back. Why do firms perform expensive listings just to reverse them thereafter? we interpret carve outs of a production unit as strategic options to attract information from the market over its value as an independent entity. This improves the decision to exercise the option to sell out or to regain control. A listing is costly, as it reduces coordination of production, but generates valuable information from the market over the optimal allocation of ownership. We compute the optimal timing for the final sale or buy back decisions, the value of the strategic options embedded in the carve out and the optimal shares retained. The model explains the temporary nature of carve outs, and suggests an explanation for many empirical findings. In particular, it explains why carve outs are more common in highly uncertain sectors and in more informative markets.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)771-792
    JournalJournal of Corporate Finance
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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