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Shifting paradigm? Long-term value creation as a normative principle in a hostile takeover: evidence from the Netherlands

Publicatie van Kenniscentrum Business Innovation
M.P. Lycklama a Nijeholt, | Artikel | Publicatiedatum: 24 juli 2018
This article provides additional insight on the effectiveness of long-term value creation as a legally enforceable norm in the corporate governance system and provides a framework to anchor long-term value creation in takeover decisions. Since the 2008 financial crisis, a growing number of voices in the business world, government and academia, have urged Western economies to move towards a long-term sustainable growth agenda. Boards have a vital part to play in the development of responsible companies. Corporate governance should encourage boards to do so. This could be viewed as a reaction to the negative effects of capital markets and the resulting short-termism. One key method to encourage sustainable value creation in companies is by incorporating long-term value creation as an open norm in corporate governance systems. In the case of a hostile takeover, the risk of short-termism is exacerbated. As a guiding principle, long-term value (LTV) creation should prevent hostile takeovers that could harm the success of the company concerned. In this research paper, we argue that the recent shift in Dutch case law and revision of the Corporate Governance Code in the Netherlands may serve as an important catalyst for ‘sustainable’ takeover decisions. Through ground-breaking judgments by the Dutch Supreme Court and Enterprise Court, Cancun and Akzo Nobel, LTV has acquired the status of an enforceable norm. We investigated whether this legal norm is empirically substantiated. The research results allow us to make well-grounded statements about the effectiveness of enforcing LTV in future hostile takeover situations.


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