In family firms, the principal-agent relationship and the steward role of family managers are determinants for external growth and acquisition target selection. In fact, some acquisitions are better for the family‟s need for risk reduction and company preservation. We aim to verify if family involvement in ownership and management influences firms‟ acquisition propensity, type of strategy, and post-deal performance. We develop an empirical analysis for a sample of 141 Italian listed companies during 2005–2011, which includes the global financial crisis. Our results reveal that Italian listed family firms have lower acquisition propensity than non-family firms because of family involvement in ownership and executive committees. Especially, diversifying strategies are less pursued by family firms, and this is corroborated when family ownership increases. However, while family firms do not differ from non-family firms on post-acquisition performance, a moderating role of family firms and family ownership does exist for diversified acquisitions and performance.
La Rosa Fabio
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