This paper reports a study of how the benefits that large shareholders derive from their control of a firm affect the equity issue and investment decisions of the firm. I introduce an explicit agency cost structure based on the benefits of control of the largest shareholder. In a simple extension of the model developed by Myers and Majluf (J Financial Econ 13:187–221, 1984), I show that underinvestment is aggravated when there are benefits of being in control and these benefits are diluted if equity is issued to finance an investment project. Using a large panel of US data, I find that the concerns of large shareholders about the dilution of ownership and control cause firms to issue less equity and to invest less than would otherwise be the case. I also find that it makes no significant difference whether new shares are issued to old shareholders or new shareholders.
Journal of Management and Governance, 2013, Vol 17, Issue 1, p. 131-155
Equity Issue; Underinvestment; Private Benefits of Control; Potential loss of Control; Voting power