European banking mergers : stock market and operating performance evaluation
There has been a new wave of merger and acquisitions (M&A) activity since the early 1990's across the world, much of this occurring in the financial services industry. This trend has affected Europe as well where the landscape of the financial services industry has been changing. This M&A activity in general has stimulated more in depth research to assess the consequences of the merger events, although comparatively little work has been done on M&A activity in the European financial services industry. This thesis uses a market return approach and an operating performance approach to evaluate the M&As outcome in European banking. We document a minimal total return, and a smaller target return in comparison to US studies. The post-merger operating cash flow return on assets deteriorated but we also found a very minimal improvement in efficiency which was not supportive enough to boost the cash flow return on assets and the profitability of the merging partners, although these mergers were mainly motivated by synergy. Deeper research may provide more interesting findings using clinical studies that seek as much detailed information about the merging partners as possible. It is also worth examining the pattern of managerial ownership and how it affects the merger outcome as this factor is an important one for regulators in the financial services Industry.