A theory of equity carve-outs and negative stub values under heterogeneous beliefs

Onur Bayar, Thomas J. Chemmanur, Mark H. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We develop a theory of new-project financing and equity carve-outs under heterogeneous beliefs. In our model, an employee of a firm generates an idea for a new project that can be financed either by issuing equity against the cash flows of the entire firm ("integration"), or by undertaking an equity carve-out of the new project alone ("non-integration"). While the patent underlying the new project is owned by the firm, the employee generating the idea needs to be motivated to exert optimal effort for the project to be successful. The firm's choice between integration and non-integration is driven primarily by heterogeneity in beliefs among outside investors (each of whom has limited wealth to invest in the equity market) and between firm insiders and outsiders: if the marginal outsider financing the new project is more optimistic about the prospects of the project than firm insiders, and this incremental optimism of the marginal outsider over firm insiders is greater regarding new-project cash flows than that about assets-in-place cash flows, then the firm will implement the project under non-integration rather than integration. Two other ingredients driving the firm's financing choice are the cost of motivating the employee to exert optimal effort, and the potential synergies between the new project and assets in place. We derive a number of testable predictions regarding a firm's equilibrium choice between integration and non-integration. We also provide a rationale for the "negative stub values" documented in the equity carve-outs of certain firms (e.g., the carve-out of Palm from 3Com) and develop predictions for the magnitude of these stub values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)616-638
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Financial Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Equity carve-outs
  • Heterogeneous beliefs
  • Negative stub values
  • Project financing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management


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