Stock Issuances and Managerial Agency Costs

Mira Ganor, The Power to Issue Stock (2011), available at SSRN. D. Gordon Smith Every state corporation statute authorizes the board of directors to issue stock. While one could imagine arguments for allocating this authority to the shareholders, the board of directors is better positioned to respond quickly to financing needs or to provide stock as a motivation for employees. Nevertheless, whenever the board of directors is given an important power, we must be attentive to the potential for abuse. In her new article, The Power to Issue Stock, Mira Ganor reveals various ways in which directors may pursue their own interests at the expense of a majority of the shareholders or thwart the veto power of minority shareholders through the issuance of stock. Stock issuances are important in Ganor's account of corporate governance because of the possibility of voting dilution, which occurs when an existing shareholder owns a smaller ownership interest after a new stock issuance. For example, assume that an investor owned one million shares of common stock in Company A, equal to a 25% ownership interest (i.e., the investor owned one million of four million shares outstanding). If Company A subsequently proposed to sell another one million shares to a new investor, the existing investor would see her ownership interest decline from 25% to 20% (she would own one million of five million shares outstanding). Continue reading "Stock Issuances and Managerial Agency Costs"

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