Value of Conglomerates and Capital Market Conditions

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Abstract

This article studies variations in the value of diversification across time under various capital market conditions. I find that when external capital is more costly at the aggregate level, the value of conglomerates increases relative to focused firms. I also find that this increase is greater for financially constrained conglomerates, such as bank-dependent or small conglomerates. My findings support the theories on the advantage of diversification over focus. They suggest that the ability to substitute external capital markets with internal capital markets creates value for conglomerates when the financing cost in external markets is high, especially for those conglomerates that are financially constrained.

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