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Mergers and acquisitions in Germany

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  • Frank A. Schmid
  • Mark Wahrenburg
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    Abstract

    National differences in corporate governance practices in Europe, such as board structures, shareholder structures, and labor participation rights, make it difficult to operate in the European cross-border mergers and acquisitions environment. Particularly thorny issues are "golden shares" and labor participation in corporate decision-making. The widespread use of golden shares among its European neighbors was critical for Germany in causing the collapse of the proposed takeover directive in the European parliament in July 2001. Another area in which the harmonization efforts of the European Union were struggling is labor participation in company decisions. On October 8, 2001, after 31 years of negotiation, the European Union gave birth to the Societas Europea, or SE. The legislation, which is set to enter into force in 2004, allows companies that operate in more than one state of the European Union to establish as a single company under European Union law. European harmonization efforts notwithstanding, to date, individual country law dominates in both domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions in Europe. This paper reviews the social setting and the regulatory framework for mergers and acquisitions or, more generally, for the transfer of cash flow rights on complex assets in Germany.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2002-027.

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    Date of creation: 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2002-027

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    Keywords: Consolidation and merger of corporations ; Germany;

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    1. Kenji Kojima, 2000. "Commitments and Contests: a Game-Theoretic Perspective on Japanese Vertical Relationships," Discussion Paper Series 110, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    2. Franks, Julian & Mayer, Colin, 2001. "Ownership and Control of German Corporations," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(4), pages 943-77.
    3. Jenkinson, Tim & Ljungqvist, Alexander, 2001. "The role of hostile stakes in German corporate governance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 397-446, December.
    4. Frank A. Schmid, 2002. "Voting rights, private benefits, and takeovers," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan., pages 35-46.
    5. Gorton, Gary & Schmid, Frank A., 2000. "Universal banking and the performance of German firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 29-80.
    6. Gary Gorton & Frank Schmid, 2000. "Class Struggle Inside the Firm: A Study of German Codetermination," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 00-36, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    7. Boehmer, Ekkehart, 2000. "Business Groups, Bank Control, and Large Shareholders: An Analysis of German Takeovers," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 117-148, April.
    8. William R. Emmons & Frank A. Schmid, 1998. "Universal banking, control rights, and corporate finance in Germany," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 19-42.
    9. Köke, Jens, 2000. "Control transfers in corporate Germany: their frequency, causes and consequences," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-67, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    10. Wenger, E & Kaserer, C, 1997. "The German System of Corporate Governance - A Model Which Should Not Be Imitated," Papers 14, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies-.
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    Cited by:
    1. Mirella Daminai & Fabrizio Pompei, 2008. "Mergers, acquisitions and technological regimes: the European experience over the period 2002-2005," Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia, Finanza e Statistica 46/2008, Università di Perugia, Dipartimento Economia, Finanza e Statistica.

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