Innovation is a key driver of a firm’s ability to survive in the financial market. Previous studies typically consider a firm dead once its shares are delisted from the stock exchange. Despite its negative connotation, delisting may be a strategic decision and therefore be a positive outcome for the company. We study how a firm’s innovative activity, in terms of R&D investments and number of patents, shapes its survival profile, taking into account the heterogeneous nature of delistings. Using a sample of high-tech small and medium enterprises (SMEs) going public in Europe during 1998–2003, we find that more innovative firms, both in terms of patents and R&D investments, have a higher probability to be taken over. However, while firms with a rich portfolio of patents are less likely to voluntarily delist, higher R&D investments increase a firm’s likelihood of being delisted due to compliance failure.
- Patents, R&D, IPOs, M&As, delistings