“The Geography of Equity Listing: Why Do European Companies List Abroad?” by Josef ZECHNER
Ailsa A RÖELL
This paper documents the aggregate trends in the foreign listings of companies and analyzes both their distinctive pre-listing characteristics and their post-listing performance relative to other companies. In the 1986-97 interval, many European companies listed abroad, but did so mainly on US exchanges. At the same time, the number of US companies listed in Europe decreased. The cross-listings of European companies appear to have sharply different motivations and consequences depending on whether they cross-list in the United States or within Europe. In the first case, companies pursue a strategy of rapid expansion fuelled by high leverage before the listing and large equity issues after the listing. They rely increasingly on export markets both before and after the listing, and tend to belong to high-tech industries. In the second case, companies do not grow more than the control group, and increase their leverage after the cross-listing. Also, they fail to increase their foreign sales in the wake of the cross-listing. The only common features of the two groups are their large size, high foreign sales before cross-listing and high R&D spending after cross-listing.