Should Shareholders Have a Say on Acquisitions?

Should Shareholders Have a Say on Acquisitions?

Marco Becht, Andrea Polo, Stefano Rossi

Series number :

Serial Number: 

Date posted :

March 08 2021

Last revised :

March 08 2021
SSRN Share


  • Corporate acquisitions • 
  • Shareholder voting • 
  • Corporate governance

Shareholders of U.S. corporations have lost billions of dollars in acquisitions they never approved. In the United Kingdom the listing rules give shareholders a binding say when targets are large relative to acquirers. A transatlantic comparison suggests that if U.S. shareholders had a say on acquisitions, they would incur fewer losses.

There is a significant difference in the difference in performance between deals subject to a vote in the United Kingdom but not in the United States and deals with no mandatory vote in either country. The United States has given shareholders a mandatory say on pay; shareholders might also wish to have a binding say on corporate acquisitions.


Real name:
Fellow, Research Member, Board Member
Solvay Brussels School for Economics and Management, Université libre de Bruxelles
Real name:
Research Member
Luiss University, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, EIEF and Barcelona GSE