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Title: Do more mergers and acquisitions create value for the firm?
Author: Li, Shaomeng
ISNI:       0000 0004 5948 6340
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis is aimed to empirically investigate the performance impact of frequent acquisitions as an aggressive merger and acquisition (M&A) strategy for an acquiring firm. In literature related to the study of M&A, a common question is whether acquisitions improve the performance of acquirers. Neither theoretical nor empirical studies have a clear view on the performance effect of M&A. Some argue positively and some are opposite. Although existing research are mixed for their arguments, a takeover is commonly perceived as a shock to the firm with a constant effect on changing business performance. This static perception of M&A creates a difficulty in explaining why firms acquire others when the performance effect is negative. To address the issue, this thesis examines the M&A effect dynamically with taking into account the role of merger frequency in affecting performance. On the basis of a large sample that consists of about 14,000 acquisitions from more than 100 countries over last 12 years, the thesis finds that the investors perceive a lower value if the acquiring firm is involved in frequent mergers. This is because more mergers are expected to attract considerable amount of management attention away from profitable activities in order to digest the challenges of new business integration at least in the short run. This “digesting constraint” argument is evident by our estimations. Firm becomes less profitable in the short run after a merger shock, and this adverse effect can be more severe if the firm is involved in more frequent mergers. Evidence of the thesis further show that, the effect of merger shocks is not static and persistent, and it changes with time. The shock affects adversely profitability in the short run, usually lasting a couple of years, and then the negative effect on performance could be turned either oppositely if the firm digests the shock successfully, or otherwise, continuously but diminishing over time if the digestion takes longer such as for frequent acquisition. This finding implies that the pace of firm resilience to a merger shock can be affected by its merger strategies. The pace can be slow if the firm pursues frequent mergers aggressively. The performance effect of a merger shock is dynamic and changes with time. The dynamic view for merger shocks from this study opens a new vision for literature in merger studies. Overall the market expectation to a merger effect on changing firm performance is quite consistently related to what has actually happened to the firm after the merger shock.
Supervisor: Liu, G. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Merger frequency ; Merger preference ; Frequent acquirer ; Short/ long-term performance ; Dynamic merger process