“Information Externality of CVC Investments: How Firms’ CVC Investments May Affect Other Firms’ Acquisition Target Selections in Technology Industries?” by Ms. Zhou Chen
Ms. Zhou Chen
Doctoral Candidate in Strategic Management
Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business
Scholars in strategic management have been interested in understanding how potential acquirers can cope with uncertainty in acquiring technology ventures. Existing research adopting a real options logic suggests that CVC investments represent an essential mechanism for established companies to identify early-stage technologies and gather more information, which will facilitate uncertainty resolution and thereby target selection. I contribute to this literature by proposing that these CVC investments reveal the parent company’s strategic preference, and thereby can serve as information cues to other potential acquirers. Other potential acquirers may rely upon this information cue to select targets for their acquisitions, creating what I call information externality of CVC investments. Using a comprehensive dataset that includes 608 publicly-listed acquirers and 15,351 ventures in five high-tech industries, I find that at the technology domain level, potential acquirers are more likely to acquire ventures in a domain with higher intensity of CVC participation. Moreover, the intensity of CVC participation will positively moderate the relationship between the potential acquirer’s technological proximity to the domain and its acquisition timing. At the venture level, potential acquirers are more likely to acquire ventures that have received funding from other CVCs than those that have been solely funded by independent VCs. Besides, technological proximity between a potential acquirer and a CVC investor is positively related to the likelihood that the potential acquirer will acquire a venture invested by the CVC investor.