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Post-Merger Restructuring and the Boundaries of the Firm

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  • Vojislav Maksimovic
  • Gordon Phillips
  • N. R. Prabhala

Abstract

Mergers and acquisitions are a fast way for a firm to grow. Using plant-level data, we examine how firms redraw their boundaries after acquisitions. We find that there is a large amount of restructuring in a short period following mergers. Acquirers sell 27% and close 19% of acquired plants within three years of the acquisition. Plants in the target's peripheral divisions, especially in industries in which asset values are increasing, and in industries in which the acquirer does not have a comparative advantage, are more likely to be sold by the acquirer. Acquirers with skill in running their peripheral divisions tend to retain more acquired plants. Plants retained by acquirers increase in productivity whereas sold plants do not. The extent of post-merger restructuring activities and their cross-sectional variation do not support an empire building explanation for mergers. Acquirers readjust their firm boundaries in ways that are consistent with the exploitation of their comparative advantage across industries.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14291.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Publication status: published as Maksimovic, Vojislav & Phillips, Gordon & Prabhala, N.R., 2011. "Post-merger restructuring and the boundaries of the firm," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 317-343.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14291

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Duchin, Ran & Schmidt, Breno, 2013. "Riding the merger wave: Uncertainty, reduced monitoring, and bad acquisitions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 69-88.
  2. Isil Erel & Yeejin Jang & Michael S. Weisbach, 2013. "Do Acquisitions Relieve Target Firms’ Financial Constraints?," NBER Working Papers 18840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Van Beers, Cees & Dekker, Ronald, 2009. "Acquisitions, Divestitures and Innovation Performance in the Netherlands," MPRA Paper 13464, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Nguyen, Pascal & Rahman, Nahid & Zhao, Ruoyun, 2013. "Ownership structure and divestiture decisions: Evidence from Australian firms," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 170-181.
  5. Erel, Isil & Jang, Yeejin & Weisbach, Michael S., 2012. "Financing-Motivated Acquisitions," Working Paper Series 2012-06, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  6. Enghin Atalay & Ali Hortacsu & Chad Syverson, 2012. "Why Do Firms Own Production Chains?," NBER Working Papers 18020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Baker, Malcolm & Pan, Xin & Wurgler, Jeffrey, 2012. "The effect of reference point prices on mergers and acquisitions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 49-71.
  8. Habib, Michel A. & Mella-Barral, Pierre, 2013. "Skills, core capabilities, and the choice between merging, allying, and trading assets," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 31-48.
  9. Colombo, Massimo G. & Rabbiosi, Larissa, 2014. "Technological similarity, post-acquisition R&D reorganization, and innovation performance in horizontal acquisitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 1039-1054.
  10. Li, Xiaoyang, 2013. "Productivity, restructuring, and the gains from takeovers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 250-271.
  11. Paige Ouimet & Rebecca Zarutskie, 2011. "Acquiring Labor," Working Papers 11-32, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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