Proof of the Ability of Hedge Funds’ Activists to Restructure Target Firms


  • Susanne Schwill Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia (UCAM), Spain


Hedge funds, Shareholder Activism, Abnormal Returns, Event study, Restructuring


We study the ability of hedge funds to restructure target firms. A purchase of at least 3% of a target firm’s stake is subject to a 13D SEC Filing in the US. We use these filings to investigate the impact of such transactions in the period 2009–2020. Our method of choice is the event study approach. We set the event on the date of the transaction and compute cumulative abnormal returns (CARs) within a specified event window. Based on accounting metrics, such as return on equity and return on assets, we study how restructuring impacts target company’s capital structure. Based on SEC Section 13G filings, we are further able to distinguish between acquisitions with active and passive aims. We find that firms targeted for active purposes achieve higher abnormal returns and overall higher performance. We further look on the impact of the overall stock-market cycle on abnormal returns. We find that the level of abnormal returns for actively targeted companies remains higher with no regard to the market cycle. Based on these findings, we draw conclusions on the overall impact of hedge fund activism.



How to Cite

Schwill , S. . (2020). Proof of the Ability of Hedge Funds’ Activists to Restructure Target Firms. SCIENTIA MORALITAS - International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research , 5(1), 48-72. Retrieved from