Diversification and the Value of Internal Capital Markets: The Case of Tracking Stock
Numerous studies document that diversified firms sell at a discount relative to comparable portfolios of stand-alone firms. One explanation is that these firms suboptimally invest by subsidizing poor performing business segments with resources from profitable business segments. On average, firms may indeed have internal capital markets that diminish firm value; however, it is also possible that internal capital markets add to firm value by relieving liquidity constraints. We examine the link between firm value and the value of internal capital markets using a relatively new form of corporate restructuring called tracking stock. We present a model that illustrates that the announcement effect of a tracking stock equity restructuring conveys information about the market's assessment of the value of a firm's internal capital market. We develop a direct measure of the profitability of the internal capital market, and we find a strong positive relation between it and tracking stock announcement effects, a finding consistent with our model.
SMU Cox School of Business Research Paper Series